Marriage as a Doorway for Traffickers
Human trafficking is when people are treated as objects and bought, sold or exploited for another’s benefit. Coercion, fraud, threats or violence are used for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor or sexual slavery. Marriage is used as a doorway for traffickers.
Trafficking happens to adults and children, people of all genders, races, religions and socioeconomic statuses.
- Trafficking: No movement is needed. Someone may never leave their home and be trafficked.
- Sex Trafficking: Trafficking of adults for sex by force, fraud, or coercion in strip clubs, brothels, massage parlors, street prostitution, or internet prostitution. It includes bringing children into the commercial sex industry by any means.
- Labor Trafficking: Trafficking children or adults for labor by force, fraud, or coercion into industries, such as agriculture, food service, manufacturing, domestic servitude, or hospitality.
- Smuggling requires transporting and moving a person into a country without proper documentation.
What to Do
JPus is working with organizations that focus on recognizing and responding to trafficking, and we are working with Attorney Generals for additional clarification. We will keep our membership apprised as we learn new information.
If you suspect that someone you are working with is being trafficked you DO NOT need to proceed with the ceremony.
- Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, below.
- Notify the town clerk.
- Tell JPus so we can track these experiences and support you.
Stay tuned. More detailed “What to Do” information is coming soon.
National Human Trafficking Hotline
This is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.
- Phone: 1-888-373-7888. (TTY: 711)
- Text: 233733
This hotline will help you determine if you have encountered victims of human trafficking, will identify local resources available in your community to help victims, and will help you coordinate with local social service organizations to help protect and serve victims so they can begin the process of restoring their lives. For more information on human trafficking visit www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking.
- See our forced marriage and trafficking advocacy page
- Read about the other social issues that marriage officiants may encounter on our Advocacy page
- Polaris has an informative Myths and Facts Sheet about human trafficking
- JPus partners with the Tahirih Justice Center to help raise marriage officiants’ awareness about human trafficking and forced marriage