Human trafficking happens in King County and Bellevue

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The Port of Seattle reports that an estimated 500-700 children in King County are forced into prostitution every year.  Websites depicting children as young as nine years old appears on over 100 websites that solicit sex in the Seattle area.

In Bellevue police rescued three young victims of sex-trafficking and made 16 arrests in December, 2020 (Bellevue City News).

Human trafficking involves exploiting or coercing people in order to benefit from their work or service, typically in the form of forced labor or sexual exploitation.  Is is also known to be a form of modern slavery.  This information can be found on the US Department of Justice website that describes human trafficking that is perpetrated by U.S. citizens or foreign nationals.  The DOJ describes traffickers as;

"... pimps, gang members, diplomats, business owners, labor brokers, and farm, factory and company owners."

The Human Trafficking Hotline in Washington reported receiving 824 calls for help in 2019.  The breakdown of top two categories with statistics in 2019 are as follows:

Type of trafficking:   199 cases of sex trafficking, 42 cases of labor trafficking

Top venues/Industries for labor trafficking:  9 cases of domestic work, 7 cases of traveling sales

Top venues/Industries for sex trafficking: 48 cases of Illicit massage/spa businesses, 16 cases of online ads/venue unknown

Gender: 210 female, 43 male

Age: 183 adult, 45 minor

Citizenship: 40 cases of foreign national, 25 cases of US citizens/LPR

Top contact types: 264 were victims of trafficking, 158 were community members

The Human Trafficking Hotline: (888) 373-7888 or Text: 233733

Contacts to The Human Trafficking Hotline has steadily increased, many victims texting the organization.  Growth in contacts are reported to occur due to the organization not automatically contacting police unless given permission from the person contacting them.

There is a listing of anti-trafficking organizations across the U.S. here although it is not an exhaustive list.

In the general Seattle area there are three organizations listed:  Business Ending Slavery & Trafficking (BEST); Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN)/International Rescue Committee (IRC) - Seattle; YouthCare.  Kirkland area lists Friends of Youth and Burien lists Organization for Prostitution Survivors.  The Bellevue Zone found an organization in Bellevue called Escape To Peace.  

If you or someone you know is involved in being exploited to work to pay off debts illegally or through sex trafficking, online pornography, escorts, brothels, webcamming, farm working of H-2A temporary work visas or other forms of exploitation, call 9-1-1 or The Human Trafficking Hotline: (888) 373-7888 or text them at 233733.


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