What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Its victims are controlled and exploited for profit. Forced labor, sexual exploitation, and prostitution are the most common types of human trafficking.

Human traffickers control their victims through violence or threats. Victims are not free to leave and get only what they need to survive.

Federal Requirements and Definitions [close]

The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act requires DFPS to find, document, and provide services for a child in state care when it is reasonable to believe the child is a victim of trafficking or is at risk of becoming a victim.

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 defines the following "severe forms" of human trafficking.

Sex trafficking

  • Using force, fraud, or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport, provision, obtain, patronize, or solicit a person for a commercial sex act.
  • Recruiting, harboring, transporting, obtaining, patronizing, soliciting, or provision of a person under 18 years old for a commercial sex act.

Labor trafficking

  • Using force, fraud, or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport, provision, or obtain a person for labor or services. The victim experiences involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Who are the Victims of Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking can affect anyone: children and adults, women and men. People are trafficked in their own country and internationally.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made a video called Look Beneath the Surface to explain how to identify and help victims. The video is part of a program to make the public aware of this issue. You can watch the video and learn more on the Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking website.

How Does DFPS Fight Human Trafficking?

We investigate reports of child trafficking that involve people who care for the children. We may also provide services to the families of trafficking victims. If we do not have the authority to investigate a report, we send it to local and state law enforcement.
Click the links below to learn more about how we respond to reports of trafficking.