RD407 - The State of Human Trafficking in Virginia – October 2019

Executive Summary:

*This report was replaced in its entirety by the Department of Criminal Justice Services on October 8, 2019.

Human trafficking is a growing problem throughout the United States. The Commonwealth of Virginia is no exception to this. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, human trafficking is “…the second largest criminal industry in the world today, and is the fastest growing…".(*1) As of March 2017, current profits from human trafficking have reached an approximate $150.2 billion per year worldwide(*2). According to the 2019 Trafficking in Person Report, approximately 77% of traffickers exploit people residing in their location of residence(*3). Within the Commonwealth of Virginia, we have been seeing this to be true through cases that are being prosecuted as well as through anecdotal information from service providers.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has been actively taking steps to improve its response to human trafficking. Although this process takes time, there have been significant improvements made since the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 was implemented. This report will highlight the key legislation implemented in Virginia since 2018. It will also provide an in-depth analysis of current efforts that are being made throughout the Commonwealth.

The report entitled Five Year Status Report: Laying the Foundation for Virginia’s Coordinated Response to Human Trafficking by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is included as Attachment A in this report. This status report details key legislation from 2014-2017 as well as the coordinated efforts of the Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinating Committee.

Throughout this report, the terms “client," “victim," and “survivor" will be used. The term “client" refers to a person who has been exploited and is actively receiving treatment through a qualified service provider. The term “victim" refers to a person who is currently being exploited and has not yet been identified or has not started their therapeutic journey. The term “survivor" refers to a person who has been trafficked, has made significant progress in their therapeutic journey, and is no longer being exploited.
(*1) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). Human Trafficking Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=23329
(*2) May, Channing. (2017). Transnational Crime and the Developing World. Global Financial Integrity. Retrieved from https://gfintegrity.org/report/transnational-crime-and-the-developing-world/
(*3) United States Department of State. (2019). Trafficking in Persons Report. Washington, DC: United States Department of State. Retrieved from http://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019-Trafficking-in-Persons-Report.pdf