Over the past decade, governments around the world have taken steps to combat human trafficking. In particular, the United States has passed several laws and legislation at the federal level as well as the state level to fight against human trafficking (Chuang, 2006). Although the United States itself has not created an overall strategy that deals with human migration into its territory (Chacon, 2006), it has taken steps to curb the trend of human smuggling and trafficking within its borders. With the use of both legislation and active state policies, the different states have sought to eliminate human trafficking in its various forms.
At present, the most prevalent form of human slavery within the U.S. falls under labor trafficking and sex trafficking (Polaris Project, 2013). A closer look at the problem reveals that human trafficking laws fall under two categories: the prevention of human trafficking and the prosecution of traffickers (Chuang, 2006).
In 2013, the Polaris Project, a human trafficking advocacy group, published a study rating the performance of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of their ability to fight against different forms of human trafficking (Polaris Project, 2013). The recent study used a 10-category rating standard that measured the achievement and effort of all of the states in the U.S. in their fight against human trafficking (Polaris Project, 2013). The merit of the cross-state study is the identification and evaluation of policies, laws, and achievements of the various states in addressing human trafficking in the United States. The thesis will center on cross-examination of the numerous laws that have been implemented to fight human trafficking within the United States. Based on the data provided by the Polaris Project’s “2013 State Rating on Human Trafficking Laws”. The paper will conduct a comprehensive review regarding the rating of the individual states as seen in the 2013 report of the Polaris Project, as well as related literature regarding the efforts of the various 50 states and the District of Colombia. By comparing the different states, the findings of the “2013 State Rating on Human Trafficking Laws” will be cross-examined and compared with other similar studies dealing with the effectiveness of different state policies and legislation aimed at deterring human trafficking within the United States.
The organization of the thesis is as follows. Chapter 1 will present an introduction to the issue of human trafficking. Chapter 2 will be a literature review. Chapter 3 will be a discussion regarding data collection, analyses, and treatment. Chapter 4 will discuss the findings of the cross-state evaluation based on the various studies collected and reviewed by the thesis - with particular emphasis on California's human trafficking crisis. In addition, it will discuss the effects of various laws and policies in the United States. Chapter 5 will be the conclusion, which will discuss and present the overall effect of legislation and state policies focused on combating human trafficking within the United States.
Chacon, J, M. (2006). Misery and mypoia: Understanding the failures of u.s. efforts to stop human trafficking. Fordam Law Review, 74(6), 2977.
Chuang, J. (2006). Beyond a snapshot: Preventing human trafficking in the global economy. Indian Journal of Global Legal Studies, 13(1), 137-165.
Polaris Project. (2013). 2013 state ratings on human trafficking laws. Retrieved from http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/policy-advocacy/national-policy/state-ratings-on-human-trafficking-laws