Human trafficking is defined as the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for labor services or commercial sex acts through force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of exploitation, involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. It includes any commercial sex involving a minor.
On January 29, 2015, the U.S. Government released a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”). The final rule reflects changes to proposed amendments originally released in September 2013. The final rule is intended to implement Executive Order 13627 (“Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts”) and Title XVII of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (“Ending Trafficking in Government Contracting”). The stated purpose of the new regulation is to create a stronger framework for compliance by imposing additional requirements for awareness, compliance, and enforcement.
For federal contracts and sub-contracts where the estimated value of the supplies acquired or services required to be performed outside the United States exceeds $500,000, the University Compliance Office can assist in creating a tailored compliance plan specific to the project.
There are a number of red flags, or indicators, which can help you identify human trafficking. Each “red flag” focuses on the traffickers' methods of control and can be broken down into categories: personal documents, wages, safety, freedom, and working and living conditions.
- Lack of personal documents
When traffickers take victims' personal documents, such as identification papers and/or travel documents, this effectively restricts victims' freedom of movement and opportunity.
- Limited or no control over wages
Traffickers often control victims by prohibiting them from controlling their own money. Another method is not paying them what was promised. This makes it is more difficult to pay off debts, which means traffickers are able to exercise more control over the victims. Traffickers will also withhold pay completely for a victim's work. Control over a victim's pay can sometimes be the result of the victim working to pay off a debt.
- Threat to personal safety
Human traffickers will control victims by threatening potential victims or their families with harm. Potential victims may have bruises or other signs of physical abuse. Victims will also be threatened with deportation or arrest in order to control them. If you find that potential victims appear fearful, this could mean a red flag should be raised.
- Limited personal freedom
When a potential victim defers to another person to speak for him or her, or appears to have been coached on what to say to authorities, it can be an indicator of human trafficking. Additionally, if a potential victim isn't allowed to socialize and communicate with family, friends, or at community events, this is also a red flag that the person is being controlled.
- Questionable living and working conditions
The working and living conditions may present red flags. For example, you may note that potential victims in the workplace express that they aren't doing the job they expected. You may also notice the victims appear deprived of food, water, sleep, and/or medical care as well as satisfactory living conditions. Red flags are clearly indicated when minors are engaged in commercial sex.