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Human Trafficking in Nebraska

Thesis: Organized crime and sub-standard life in developed societies: The human trafficking syndicates in the United States.

Problem Statement


Human trafficking is globally known as modern-day slavery. The federal law defines it as sex trafficking whereby the commercial sex act is induced by force, deception or intimidation while in labor trafficking, the person involved in the action has not attained an age of 18 years. It is the recruitment, sheltering, providing as well as obtaining of a person labor services through the use of force, deception or intimidation with the aim of subjection to involuntary slavery, peonage or even debt bondage.

The U.S. state department of has estimated that 50,000 individuals are trafficked in the country yearly. This estimate was an increment to the survey that was done in 2003 which indicated that 18,000-20,000 people were trafficked while the 2005-2006 report the figures ranged between 14,500- 17,500. (Clawson 4). According to the official data released by U.S Department of Justice, 360 human trafficking cases has been handled and by June 2007 1,264 foreign nationals had been certified by the department of health as victims of human trafficking (Clawson 4).


Trafficking is present everywhere in the world including the United States. In Nebraska, there are no comprehensive tracking systems to screen and record data on numbers of human trafficking hence there are a few estimates of how many victims are involved in this state. In the recent past, however, Nebraska has taken steps to identify the level of human trafficking by using Governor’s Task Force on human trafficking. The Interstate-80 which facilitates national movement serves as an easy mode of human trafficking transportation making Nebraska vulnerable to human trafficking.

Poverty and lack of economic opportunity push people to seek new labor opportunities in Nebraska. Similarly, unfulfilled labor markets compel people to find new job opportunities in new countries. This result to people being vulnerable to desperation hence increasing the possibility of being trafficked (Niewiarowska 10). Lack of transparency, poor enforcement as well as the lack of identification of techniques used in trafficking means traffickers continue reaping profits from the business thus they work effortlessly to identify new methods of performing this business. Additionally, according to Niewiarowska the rise of minorities who are politically and economically disadvantaged make them easier targets of the traffickers (10).

The movement to Nebraska has been identified as a cause of human trafficking. The desire to migrate is frequently misused only for the terms to be changed once the trafficker has gained the control. Niewiarowska identifies that the presence of human smugglers as access to illegal movement increases the chances of human trafficking as the stringent immigration enforcement lead to people becoming more dependent on them to cross the borders. These individuals are exposed to exploitative service providers and immigration enforcement authorities who develop the dependency on the safety granted by trafficking networks (Niewiarowska 11).


Victims of trafficking often suffer and experience harsh physical and health impacts. These victims suffer from psychological, physical as well as sexual exploitation, involuntary usage of drugs, social limitations, emotional mishandling, and legal uncertainties. These risks persist even after a person is freed from the trafficking situation. The effects of human trafficking are worse since the numbers of people that are offered post-trafficking services or receive any financial support or compensation are very few. Sex trafficking, for instance, is associated with physical health problems as well as sexual and reproductive health complications (WHO 2). Labor trafficking exposes the victims to risks of exhaustions, dehydration, stress and accidental injuries. These risks are as a result of exposure to chemical hazards, lack of protective equipment, airborne and bacterial contaminants as well as extreme weather conditions (WHO 3). Additionally, trauma experienced by these individuals during the first instance of trafficking worsens during the trafficking process and persist beyond the end of their exploitation.

Beside health complications, people in human trafficking suffer from imposed social isolations which include prevention of family contact and restriction of person movements. To manipulate these people and keep them accessible, traffickers use the fear of harming the family members as well as false promises. Upon rescue, trafficked people return to the same old environment which they were running from but with new problem and challenges such as stigma. Stigma has a significant impact on their lives and is associated with trauma which increases the possibility of physical rejection by both the family and community. Those who remain in the areas they were trafficked; they suffer from insecurity and are at the risk of being trafficked again. The long-term consequences of human trafficking and revictimization are complex, and there is no guarantee of recovering from them (UN.GIFT 6).

Being one of the states of United States, Nebraska has equally been affected by human trafficking. Due to Interstate-80 which allows national movement in the state, human traffickers find an easier route to transport the victims. The paper addresses human trafficking in Nebraska; solutions that can help to prevent this activity as well as the actions are taken to curb its growth.

Supporting Arguments

The smuggling of individuals within the borders is known as domestic human trafficking and occurs in all the federal states and the common type of trafficking is sex trafficking. Research has shown that victims involved in this trafficking are women and children and include American citizens as well as noncitizens. The recent increased focus paid by Congress on domestic trafficking including prostitution of children is a strong suggestion of the importance of handling this issue. Though the comprehensive data is lacking on the exact number of victims involved in trafficking in the country, trafficking in the country is an alarming problem. The data released by Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS) in 2008 indicated that department of justice opened 2,515 investigations of human trafficking with 83% of these involving U.S. citizens (Finklea et al. 1).

According to Finklea, the demand for sex with children is steady in the country. These have led to a steady increase in profit to sex traffickers who in return has ventured into new ways of recruiting children. The technological advances such as websites have been a clear indication of how many people are interested in purchasing sexual services from children, and since their interest is just sex, they are not aware the individuals they are engaging with are trafficking victims. The large emphasis placed by federal government on penalizing traffickers as well as working effortlessly to curb both the supply and demand for this form of trafficking is an indication of the comprehensive development of human trafficking in the country (Finklea et al. 3).

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) was enacted to address the sex trafficking of children. Since its enactment in 2000, TVPA has been reauthorized four times (2003, 2006, 2008. and 2013). During these instances, the Congress increased the focus on U.S citizens specifically to address the increment of trafficking in the country. The regulations provided by TVPA to be applied by the department of justice have been primarily focused on noncitizens living in the country who might find themselves in the hands of traffickers. Therefore, the intensified importance of developing and implementing TVPA programs facilitated by U.S. policy makers is an indication of the problem that the country is facing associated with human trafficking that needs immediate addressing (Finklea et al. 4).



Law enforcement and social agencies are pushing to eliminate human trafficking in Nebraska. They are doing so by including the survivors who mostly are ignored despite their need for support. The state government led by the Attorney General has declared war against human trafficking by prosecuting the individuals found in this act. Helping persons who have engaged in human trafficking-related jobs such as prostitution by clearing their criminal records permits they find a genuine job and in return stopping them from returning to the same old jobs as elaborated by one of the human traffickers’ coordinators in the state.

In conjunction with the federal government, the government of Nebraska is using intelligence gathered by various intelligence agencies to allocate security personnel to areas probable of being used by traffickers. By doing so, the state government is benefiting by assigning the resources at the trafficking hotspots hence revealing the trends in victim recruitment and exploitation. It is allowing the Justice Department to collect enough evidence to prosecute the individual associated with this act as well as rescue victims who have befallen in trafficking. Prosecution evidence is sufficient to build a case and victims are offered post-trafficking services.

Having known the labor required to track online information as proof in Justice Department, human traffickers have been using the internet to exploit victims. The use of investigative software to track information related to human trafficking is being employed by the government of Nebraska. Since information in the websites related to human trafficking may be fictitious, this software helps to track the source of information hence providing information about criminal activities. The software performs the act of obtaining publically available data, analyze it and help to prioritize cases which require law enforcement by taking leads by connecting photos, user location, and phone numbers. This allows the law enforcement agencies to be aware of trafficking hotspot before invading it (ISE & ASCIA 7).


To ensure excellent function ability of the set operation, officers patrolling the traffic hotspots should be increased which translates to better services offered to the trafficking survivors as well as faster response when called upon in case of trafficking activity. Since the state government has established a hotline which is being used by the citizens to report trafficking cases, having an increased number of officers would only guarantee success during rescue process. The Nebraska government has developed the Salvation Army fight to End Human Trafficking (SAFE-T) which offers improved case management services and 24-hour service to these victims. The program has received $1.5 million from the federal government through the attorney general thus ensuring the services provided to trafficking survivors are of high quality.

Additionally, the addition of these officers will provide extra care that is being given to the trafficking victims. The fact that these victims engage in illegal activities mean that they have a criminal record which prevents them from securing a legal job opportunity. These officers, on the other hand, will provide these services hence ensuring those who executed these illegal activities through force would be cleared therefore preventing them from being trafficked again. These personnel investigates all the possible routes which are used to transport individuals thus they are able to arrest the traffickers and rescue the victims, collecting evidence in the process enough to prosecute them.



One way of preventing trafficking is by teaching anti-human trafficking methods and different types of trafficking. The anti-trafficking curriculum should be implemented in schools which include five models; demographic and history of trafficking, legal definitions of trafficking, social and emotional issues and needs of victims, prosecution of traffickers mainly focused on conviction and sentencing of traffickers and finally plan for the individuals rescued from the act (Jennifer 6). This helps the student identify situations that are related to human trafficking such as suspicious friends or messages. Since traffickers are finding it easier to traffic students by just a simple text message, the Anti-trafficking curriculum prohibits students from using digital technology while at school with the exception of emergencies (Talbott 3).


Implementing these programs in school allows the student to identify the traffickers quickly. For instance, the male are trafficked by female through sexual exploitation and these traffickers are present in these places such as schools. Understanding the tricks used by dealers, children report suspected human traffickers and the school initiates investigation. Education should be done using power point and other educational materials. Students should participate in training forums informing attendees about the danger of trafficking. The perception of seeing their peers taking part in training forums mount the idea of trafficking in their minds consequently putting them on alert in case of an occurrence (Talbott 4).

Similarly, schools have the responsibility regarding the child smuggling. They need to increase the awareness among the staff and educate them on indicators and nature of crimes, raise awareness among students and parents on the risk and possibilities of trafficking as well as developing school policies for identification of suspected victims. Training on the indicators of mistreatment and smuggling and the techniques likely to be used by traffickers ought to be delivered to both children and school staff. The method and ways of intermingling with smuggling survivors who suffer from disgrace and humiliation should be done as this warrants all individuals involved in school set-up remain open minded as interact safely with involved people thus building their confidence (U.S. Department of Education 12).

An effective school policy would require the school administrators develop procedures for dealing with human trafficking similar to those applicable in circumstances of sexual attack or child abuse. Additionally, upon identification of single survivor or trafficker, all the supporting bodies should coordinate under the law and support the victim as well as ensure minimum impact on other students (U.S. Department of Education 12).

Suspected recruitment

Step 1. Involve available security officer to conduct investigation.

Step 2. Investigate any impacts such as recruitment and other student involvement related to their safety.

Step 3. Provide the school law enforcement and arrest should be made depending on the extent involvement.

Step 4. The acquired information should be complied as evidence and stored either in hardcopy or softcopy.

Suspected victim

Step 1. Involve available security officer to conduct investigation.

Step 2. If abuse is suspected, the child warfare services should be submitted with as much information as possible.

Step 3. Investigate any impacts such as recruitment and other student involvement related to their safety.

Step 4. If appropriate inform the parent/guardian of the potential victimization.

Step 5. Offer to the individual and parent appropriate counseling.

Step 6. Set up a regular contact with the victim and check their status frequently.

Confirmed victim

Step 1. Involve available security officer to conduct investigation.

Step 2. If abuse is suspected, the child warfare services should be submitted with as much information as possible.

Step 3. Investigate any impacts such as recruitment and other student involvement related to their safety.

Step 4. Investigation should be conducted or appropriate unit used.

Step 5. If appropriate inform the parent/guardian of the potential victimization

Stem 6. Investigate whether the school is the best for the student. If not transfer the student.

Step 7. Refer the student to professional counseling and Set up a regular contact with the victim and check their status frequently.


Human trafficking is a national calamity and modern method of slavery as described above. Both the federal and the state government of Nebraska has developed programs that will ensure the problem is catered for hence eliminating the health and mental complications it is associated with. The government of Nebraska has developed programs bringing together different departments and agencies with the aim of addressing human trafficking. It has worked hard to enforce criminal and labor law, education awareness in schools and formed a partnership with national government to provide it with intelligence regarding trafficking. It has also funded different programs such as SAFE-T which work to eliminate human trafficking and support survivors of the same. In conclusion, it is, therefore, clear though not to perfection the United States government together with state governments (Nebraska) has worked hard to eliminate and cut human trafficking.

Work cited

Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies (ASCIA) & Information Sharing Environment (ISE). “Human Trafficking Information and Investigations Strategy Toolkit.” A Guide to Developing a Law Enforcement Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (2016) 1-24. Web

Heather J. Clawson. “Human Trafficking Into and Within the United States: A Review of the Literature.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009). 1-45. Web

Jennifer. “Prevention, Education and Intervention Strategies in Combating Human Trafficking: Collaborative Efforts Producing Sustainable Action. February, 2008. Retrieved from

Kaja B. Niewiarowska. “A Global Study of Human Trafficking Legislation: Causes and Effects.” International Relations Honors Thesis (2015): 1-35. Web

Kristin Finklea, Adrienne L. Fernandes-Alcantara, Alison Siskin. “Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States”. Overview and Issues for Congress (2015):1-24. Web

Sex Trafficking Nebraska’s I-80 – Finding Justice.” Finding Justice, 25 Nov. 2013,

Talbott, Katie. “Anti-Trafficking Education in High Schools – End Slavery Now.” Anti-Trafficking Education in High Schools – End Slavery Now, 28 Oct. 2015,

U.S. Department of Education. “Human Trafficking in America’s Schools.” Human Trafficking in America’s Schools (2015) 1-18. Web

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