Legal and Social Issues Research Lab

Human Trafficking and Prostitution


Human Trafficking Task Force


Human Trafficking Facts:


                      Human trafficking: a modern-day form of slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims are young children, teenagers, men and women.

                      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 purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.

                      Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years.

                      After drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest growing. Between 18,000 and 20,000 victims are trafficked into the United States annually, according to the U.S. Department of State.

                      United Nations estimates unlawful sex trafficking generates approximately $5,000,000,000 a year in revenues.

                      Forced Labor: "all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself/herself voluntarily." (International Labor Organization Convention Concerning Forced Labor (No. 29)

                      Forced labor is most prevalent in five sectors of the U.S. Economy: 46% prostitution and sex services, 27% domestic service, 10% agriculture, 5% sweatshop/factory, and 4% restaurant and hotel work.

                      LVMPD believes the most prevalent form of trafficking in Las Vegas is forced prostitution. Sex oriented businesses, massage parlors and outcall entertainment industry are fertile grounds for exploitation and human trafficking; once investigated, the full extent of the problem is expected to reveal disturbing findings.

                      Child Sex Trafficking in Las Vegas is predominantly where the highest percentage of victims have been identified. 180 girls and 1 boy have been exploited into sex trafficking in Las Vegas since August 2005, 112 of the girls were from other states; 56 of which came from California.

                      LVMPD has seen a 250% increase in the number of juveniles arrested for prostitution in the last ten years. In virtually every instance, the juvenile was hooking due to the coercion or influence of a pimp(trafficker).

                      LVMPD pandering arrests and pandering cases have risen significantly in the past 5 years with more than 200 cases being processed a year.

                      LVMPD VICE related bookings and misdemeanor prostitution arrests have also risen within the last 5 years. In the past 2 years, the Department as made an average of more than 138 arrests per day.

                      LVMPD now has a booking code for Human Trafficking

                      LVMPD established the UMLV Human Trafficking course, on 1/5/07, which is mandatory for all commissioned police and corrections personnel under the rank of Deputy Chief. To date (2/2/07), over 1220 commissioned police, corrections personnel and some civilian employees have completed the course. That is nearly half the force. UMLV reports this is the best response they have ever had to a mandatory course.

                      The rapid growth in Southern Nevada and the need for housing and infrastructure to support it can lead to the potential for identifying trafficking victims in situations of forced labor in construction, landscaping and domestic service.

                      ATLAS recognizes the potential to identify human trafficking in all sectors of forced labor, as a result of implementing awareness and training campaigns for law enforcement, services providers and community members-at-large in Southern Nevada.

                      ATLAS is a multidisciplinary task force comprised of Government Agencies and Non Government Agencies including: the Office of the U.S. Attorney, Office of the Nevada Attorney General, Clark County District Attorney, FBI, U.S. Dept. Of Labor OIG, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Marshall’s Office,  Henderson Police Department, Senator Harry Reid, The Honorable Judge William Voy, Clark County Public Defender Juvenile Division, The Salvation Army (cograntee), UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Immigration Clinic, Safe House, The Rape Crisis Center, Safe Nest, Nevada Child Seekers, No To Abuse, WestCare, Ethiopian Community Development Council.

                      ATLAS will work in a concerted effort to expose and reduce human trafficking in Southern Nevada by 1) Increasing local mechanisms, expertise and public awareness to identify and rescue trafficking victims; 2) Establish protocols and partnerships to insure that victims have access to comprehensive supportive services; 3) Training Law Enforcement personnel and other service organizations to identify human trafficking, investigate and provide victim services; and, 4) Developing a means to evaluate the effectiveness of the project.

                      Cases will be scrutinized by an Intelligence Triage Committee to determine if the case will be handled on the Federal, State or Local level; much in the same way gun cases are triaged.

                      The project will operate in conjunction with the Salvation Army Western Region Human Anti-Trafficking Program. The Salvation Army is the designated service provider for trafficking victims in Southern Nevada.


Shared Hope International

Dr. Kennedy is the chair of the research subcommittee for the ATLAS Task Force on Human Trafficking. She is also the assessor for the rapid assessment for Shared Hope International on domestic victims of trafficking.