Human trafficking is a severe form of exploitation for labor (including sex) involving force, fraud, or coercion.
Exploitation: The action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.
Force: To make someone do something against their will.
Fraud: Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.
Coercion: The practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.
Who experiences it?
Human trafficking is a crime against a person, not a border. It can impact individuals from a range of diverse backgrounds and identities, including:
- Those at risk of or experiencing homelessness
- Individuals struggling with substance dependency
- LGBTQIA+ community members
- Sex Workers
- Minors not residing with legal guardians
- Undocumented individuals
- Asylees and refugees
Where does it happen?
Human trafficking occurs across Colorado, in both urban and rural areas. It can take place in a variety of settings and sectors, including:
- Food service and hospitality
- Farming and agriculture
- The commercial sex industry
- Temporary foreign worker visa programs
- Debt bondage scenarios with recruiters or smugglers
- Involuntary servitude or forced marriage arrangments
- Exploitave labor operations involving children
How to help
Become a volunteer advocate for Colorado’s Human Trafficking Hotline. Advocates take calls/texts remotely and are trained to handle a variety of scenarios with a focus on connecting callers to the hotline’s vetted list of statewide resources.
Grow your knowledge about human trafficking. LCHT leads trainings for community groups and a variety of professionals on the frontlines of combatting human trafficking in Colorado.
Your generosity has the power to advance progress through anti-trafficking training, community-based research, the strengthening of Colorado’s 24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline, and the development of future human rights leaders.
Keep up with the latest in Colorado’s anti-trafficking movement.
Sign up for LCHT’s e-newsletter and receive updates and stories right to your inbox.
Common myths & misconceptions
Reality: US citizens, visa holders, and undocumented workers—can all be exploited and are all protected under federal human trafficking laws.
Reality: Trafficking doesn’t demand physical restraint or harm be present. Psychological control through threats, fraud, or abuse suffices. The Traffficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 expanded to cover subtler coercion beyond just bodily harm, contrasting earlier standards.
Myth: Trafficking victims immediately ask for help.
Myth: Trafficking victims only arise from poverty.
Myth: Sex trafficking is the only form of human trafficking.
Myth: Human trafficking only occurs in illegal underground industries.
Myth: If victims consented initially, it can’t be human trafficking.
Myth: Foreign national victims are always undocumented.
What’s Happening in Anti-Trafficking
With back-to-school around the corner, education is on our mind at the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking.
From volunteering for Colorado’s Human Trafficking Hotline to getting trained and supporting impactful programs, find meaningful ways to join the fight against exploitation right where you live.
This summer, empower yourself with knowledge and awareness through gripping books, thought-provoking documentaries, and insightful podcasts, all carefully selected to shed light on the realities of modern-day slavery.