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Education
A Comprehensive Guide of Trusted Resources to Report Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation
1 MIN
Education

 

SECTIONS:

Definitions 

Reporting 101

Report an In-Person Situation

Report Online Exploitation

Report CSAM 

 

DEFINITIONS

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act (DHS.gov)

CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING: refers to the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a minor for the purpose of a commercial sex act. Force, fraudor coercion do not need to be present for the crime to be considered child sex trafficking (justice.gov, humantraffickinghotline.org). 

CHILD EXPLOITATION: is a broad term that encompasses all forms of child sexual exploitation. This may include many of the other terms on this list, such as child sexual abuse material, child sex trafficking, and others like sextortion. This is one of the broadest ways to talk about the issue as a whole, rather than the individual and nuanced pieces (Thorn.org).

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE MATERIAL (CSAM): refers to any content that depicts sexually explicit activities involving a child. Visual depictions include photographs, videos, live streaming, and digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor. CSAM better describes the reality of this crime, rather than the legal term of child pornography. It’s important we use terminology that reflects the impact of this crime on its victims (Thorn.org).

SEXTORTION: is a form of sexual exploitation. The offender uses coercion and threats to compel the victim to produce sexual images or videos engaging in sexual acts. Sometimes the offender already possesses nude or sexual images of the victim, and is threatening to release them if the victim will not do as the offender commands (Justice.gov).

ONLINE ENTICEMENT: is the use of the internet to entice, invite, or persuade a child to meet for sexual acts or to help arrange a meeting is a serious offense. Predators have used e-mail, instant messaging, bulletin boards, and chat areas to gain a child’s confidence and then arrange a face-to-face meeting. This sometimes leads to the child traveling to meet the person he or she is chatting with or the person traveling to meet the child. Sometimes the other person is an adult whose intent is to have sex with the child. (Justice.gov).

ONLINE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION: most commonly includes grooming, live streaming, consuming child sexual abuse material, and coercing and blackmailing children for sexual purposes (ECPAT.org). 

 

REPORTING 101

“I’VE SEEN SOMETHING THAT MAY BE SUSPICIOUS OF TRAFFICKING OR IS INAPPROPRIATE. HOW DO I REPORT IT?”

Please exercise good judgement when making a report. All tips are taken seriously, however, conspiracy-related reports from people with no direct knowledge of trafficking situations can overwhelm services meant for victims.

We are not a law enforcement body and cannot investigate trafficking leads. If you or someone you know is in danger, please contact local authorities immediately using all relevant channels of communication including: telephone, email, submissions via law enforcement websites, etc. Please leverage investigative bodies such as city police departments, county sheriff offices, state police and federal law enforcement including the FBI or HSI. Alternatively you can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or visit their website at www.humantraffickinghotline.org to report a tip.

We have compiled a guide of helpful resources to report potential human trafficking and exploitation cases. O.U.R. is not a reporting agency. 

 

REPORTING AN IN-PERSON SITUATION

United States Resources

  1. If you or another person are in immediate danger, please call 911 to receive help from local authorities.
  2. If you have information about the person/people potentially being trafficked, you can report it to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, and they can give you recommendations about what to do. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 888-373-7888. Visit their website to learn how you can also report through live chat, text, an online form, or email. https://humantraffickinghotline.org/

Global Resources

  1. If you or another person are in immediate danger, please alert local authorities.
  2. If you have information about the person/people potentially being trafficked, you can report it to your country’s national hotline. You can reference It’s A Penalty’s map to find the appropriate reporting mechanism in every country worldwide.

 

REPORTING ONLINE EXPLOITATION

If you or another person are in immediate danger, please alert local authorities first.

Many social media platforms have in-app tools to report human trafficking and child exploitation. For example, here is Facebook’s page to report human trafficking. Other platform’s tools, if they exist, can be found in their help centers.

Every U.S. state has an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Most states have a contact email to report online child exploitation. If your state has a reporting form or email provided, you can report your information there. Check out the list here.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a CyberTipline to report anything to do with child exploitation or abuse. Information entered into this report will be made available to law enforcement for possible investigation. 

If you have seen child sexual abuse material and you live abroad, you can use this search tool to find your country’s reporting form or hotline.

 

REPORTING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE MATERIAL (CSAM)

REPORTING CSAM IN THE U.S.

If you encounter CSAM outside of the above platforms, we recommend using the following links to report abuse.

An increasing number of well-intentioned and concerned people are raising the level of discussion about child exploitation and human trafficking through social media and other channels. Please exercise good judgement when reporting tips. All tips are taken seriously, however, conspiracy-related reports from people with no direct knowledge of trafficking or CSAM situations can overwhelm services meant for victims. Please follow the above guidelines for reporting CSAM. 

 

REPORTING CSAM GLOBALLY 

CSAM can appear on any of the major social media platforms. These platforms have protocols for reporting any abusive material. If you ever happen to come across an image or video you believe to be abusive or involving a minor, always report it! Be sure to always report directly within the platform and do not share it. It is important to not perpetuate the issue by sharing it further.

Below are the reporting mechanisms for each major social media platform:

 

Thank you for doing your part in fighting against the horrific nature of human trafficking. Together, we can shine a light on the darkness, and help bring survivors to freedom.  




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