Is human trafficking another word for smuggling? No. There are many fundamental differences between the crimes of human trafficking and human smuggling. Both are entirely separate federal crimes in the U.S. Most notably, smuggling is a crime against a country’s borders, whereas human trafficking is a crime against a person. Also, while smuggling requires illegal border crossing, human trafficking involves commercial sex acts or labor or services that are induced through force, fraud or coercion. Unlike smuggling, human trafficking does not require transportation.

Is human trafficking a crime that must involve some form of travel, transportation or movement across state or national borders? No. Although the word "trafficking" sounds like movement, the federal definition of human trafficking in the U.S. does not require transportation. In other words, transportation may or may not be involved in the crime of human trafficking and it is not a required component.

Who are the victims? There is not one consistent face of trafficking victims. Trafficked persons in the United States can be men or women, adults or children, foreign nationals or US citizens. Some are well-educated, while others have no formal education.

Do victims of human trafficking self-identify as a victim of a crime and ask for help immediately? Often not. Victims of human trafficking often do not seek help immediately, due to lack of trust, self blame or being directly trained by traffickers to distrust authorities

Does human trafficking only occur in illegal underground industries? While human trafficking does occur in illegal and underground markets, it can also occur in legal and legitimate settings.

Who is at risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking? Since human trafficking victims can be men or women, adults or children and foreign nationals or U.S. citizens, trafficking is a crime that cuts across race, nationality, gender, age and socio-economic background. However, human traffickers typically prey on individuals who are vulnerable in some way.

Does physical violence have to be involved in human trafficking cases? No. Under federal law, an individual who uses physical or psychological violence to force someone into labor or commercial sex acts is considered a human trafficker. Therefore, while some victims experience beatings, rape and other forms of physical violence, many victims are controlled by traffickers through psychological means.

Do victims always come from a low-income or poor background? No. Human trafficking victims can come from a range of backgrounds and some may come from middle and upper class families.

To obtain additional information visit the Polaris Project at  



If you suspect someone is a human trafficking victim please contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center
at 1-888-373-7888 or 9-1-1

What is Human Trafficking
Recognize Human Trafficking
Frequently Asked Questions
Human Trafficking Laws
About the NTATT
Request a Community Presentation
Links to Other Helpful Resources
Back to Human Trafficking
Back to APD

- Affected for Life -
Join the Fight to Help Combat Human Trafficking



Copyright © 2000-2013 City of Arlington, TX. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Disclaimer | Supported Browsers