Slavery and trafficking are synonymous. Human trafficking includes Philippine young women who are transported to Saudi Arabia and confined as domestic servants, as well as commercial sex operations. Human trafficking is defined as the use of fraud, coercion or force to exercise physical and psychological control of an individual to purpose the victim into commercial sex acts, confined labor or both. For more a world-wide perspective on human trafficking, go to: National Human Trafficking Resource Center and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Defining criminality and prosecutions under federal laws is a three step analysis beginning with: 1) The act; 2) The means; and 3) The purpose.
Florida has a sex trafficking and human trafficking criminal statute which is quite comprehensive. In Florida, local jurisdictions, such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale, prosecute sex trafficking and human trafficking cases under Florida criminal law. Often, the scope of commercial sex trafficking operations crosses city and county jurisdictional lines. A prosecutor in Fort Lauderdale cannot successfully prosecute a sex trafficking operation that is outside Broward County. Because commercial sex operators are inter-jurisdictional operations, there is a federal task force in place. The task force is active in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. Federal prosecutions are often undertaken when local state prosecutors decline to prosecute or refer a sex or human trafficking case to a federal task force.