What Is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a major problem and it helps to define what exactly it is; the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act defines human trafficking as:
A. The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act where such an act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age, or
B. 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.”
Human trafficking can take many forms, such as domestic servitude; factory labor that resembles prisons; farm work by migrants.
A South Dakota Problem
South Dakota is a hot spot for men coming to the state for hunting, the Sturgis Bike Rally, and other tourism events and destinations. Traffickers routinely use casinos, truck stops, the internet and other venues throughout the year.
According to several news reports, sex trafficking is an “infestation” in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota which have several “Man Camps”. There is also great concern of the large increase of registered sex offenders who relocated to the Bakken oil region to work.
Native women and children on the reservations are also at high risk. According to the U.S. Attorney for South Dakota, Kevin Koliner, Native women comprise 40 perscent of sex trafficking victims in the state.
Interstates 90 & 29, and other highways that run through South Dakota, are part of the “Midwest Pipeline,” the superhighways used to deliver trafficking victims to cities across the country.