SEATTLE – Millions of people are trapped in some version of forced labor worldwide, yet few perpetrators are ever prosecuted.
Even in the US, with its well-oiled legal system, successful criminal cases are few and far between. But here in Seattle, a small antitrafficking team is showing how legal action can be effective when when detectives, prosecutors, and social workers learn to collaborate.
Cases of trafficking rarely get to court. Often the victims don’t want to testify, or authorities don’t recognize the offenses as human trafficking. And labor trafficking cases outside the sex trade, where victims are more easily identified, can be tougher to crack.
Yet in Washington State, successful prosecutions over the past decade include: