Human Trafficking is the recruitment, transport, sale, or receipt of persons within or across national borders through force, fraud, or coercion to place the persons in slavery or slavery-like work conditions.
Traffickers use violence, threats, blackmail, false promises, deception, manipulation, and debt bondage to trap vulnerable individuals in horrific situations. According to the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), severe forms of human trafficking are legally defined as:
Sex Trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age (22 USC § 7102).
Labor Trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery, (22 USC § 7102).
The Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition (PATC) is an affiliation of social service, government, and law enforcement agencies dedicated to combating the issue of human trafficking in the Philadelphia area. The coalition aims to create a network of agencies to assist victims of human trafficking, in order to coordinate an appropriate response to victims and to make available a wide range of services. Chaired by Covenant House Pennsylvania (CHPA), the coalition was founded in 2005 and convenes several times each year to discuss the furtherance of efforts to fight this important issue.