is unable, and by law not responsible, to care for or support him or herself and may be easily
manipulated by others for profit. 28
Each case of human trafficking is unique and the facts must be carefully examined to
determine if they support a finding of such trafficking. The following example of sex
trafficking29 was developed by the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Task
Force (IPATH): 30 a fifteen-year-old girl runs away from her abusive family for the second time.
She meets a man in his twenties at the mall who befriends her and offers to buy her something
pretty. Their romantic relationship grows. She becomes more dependent upon him and believes
he loves her. He starts to ask her to do things for him, eventually leading to him pimping her out
for profit and resorting to violence and psychological trauma to control her.
As noted above, sex trafficking relates to a third person using a child in commercial sex
or sexual conduct to make money. If the victim is eighteen years of age or older, the prosecutor
must prove they were trafficked through force, fraud or coercion. Labor trafficking relates to
using a person to perform labor through force, fraud, or coercion. 31 Of course, it is possible to
have both types of trafficking in the same case. For example, a man could force a woman to be
his domestic slave (controlled by repeated beatings, she works all day cleaning, cooking, and
serving him, and may not leave the house or even turn on air conditioning without his permission)
and also use her in sex trafficking by selling her to his friends who force her to perform sex acts
with them. 32
B. Human Trafficking vs. Other Crimes
Human trafficking is often confused with other crimes and may even be charged as
another crime if not all of the elements of trafficking are met or are too difficult to prove. 33 For
example, smuggling is the illegal transportation of a person across international borders. 34 While
a trafficking victim may have been smuggled into the United States, smuggling cases do not have
to involve human trafficking: the smuggled person is generally entering into the relationship with
the smuggler voluntarily and is free to leave afterwards. 35 If the individual is not free to leave, it
definitions; defenses); § 7.1-5- 7-7 (prohibiting possession of alcohol by minors); § 30-2-8. 5-10 (defining “minor” as a person under
twenty-one years of age).
28 IND. CONST. art. 2, § 2; IND. CODE ANN. §§ 7.1-5- 7-7, 30-2-8. 5-10, 35-42- 4-4.
29 To protect the privacy of the victims, the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force developed this and
similar examples; they are not actual cases but contain a combination of typical facts taken from actual cases. See Training
Subcommittee, IND. PROTECTION FOR ABUSED & TRAFFICKED HUMS. TASK FORCE, http://www.indianaagainsttrafficking.org/training-
subcommittee/ (last visited Nov. 22, 2013).
30 The Indiana Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana are co-chairs of the Indiana
Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force (“IPATH”). About IPATH, IND. PROTECTION FOR ABUSED & TRAFFICKED
HUMS. TASK FORCE, http://www.indianaagainsttrafficking.org/about/ (last visited Apr. 28, 2012). “IPATH is one of forty-two task
forces nationwide funded by the Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime and the Bureau of Justice Assistance to address
human trafficking.” Id.
31 For an example of labor trafficking, see e.g. U.S. v. Booker, 655 F.2d 562 (4th Cir. 1981) (where an owner of a migrant camp in
North Carolina brought workers to the camp who forced to work and not allowed to leave until their “debts” were paid (debt
bondage). Force and threats of force were used to keep the victims working in the fields. When two workers attempted to escape, they
were apprehended, returned to the camp and beaten).
32 See supra note 29.
33 For example, trafficking victims are often reluctant to cooperate in the prosecution of the crime due to fear of retaliation by the
trafficker, distrust of law enforcement, or a lack of viable alternatives to their trafficking situation. AMY FARRELL ET AL., U.S. DEP’T
OF JUSTICE, IDENTIFYING CHALLENGES TO IMPROVE THE INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF STATE AND LOCAL HUMAN
TRAFFICKING CASES 105, 143 (2012), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/238795.pdf. When the victim fails to cooperate or
does not admit to being forced, it is difficult for the prosecution to make a case. Id. at 173.
34 See U.S. DEP’T OF STATE, HUMAN SMUGGLING & TRAFFICKING CTR., FACT SHEET: DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN HUMAN SMUGGLING
AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING 2 (2006) [hereinafter FACT SHEET], available at http://www.state.gov/m/ds/hstcenter/90434.htm.
35 People Smuggling, INTERPOL, http://www.interpol.int/Crime-areas/Trafficking-in-human-beings/People-smuggling (last visited
Nov. 12, 2013).