In the United States, slavery occurs in both legal and illicit industries, including in commercial sex, hospitality, traveling sales crews, agriculture, seafood, manufacturing, janitorial services, construction, restaurants, health care, care for persons with disabilities, salon services, fairs and carnivals, peddling and begging, drug smuggling and distribution, and child care and domestic work. Individuals who entered the United States with and without legal status have been identified as trafficking victims. Victims originate from almost every region of the world; the top three countries of origin of federally identified victims in FY 2016 were the United States, Mexico, and the Philippines. Those at particular risk of being enslaved include: children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, runaway and homeless youth, unaccompanied children, migrant laborers, persons with limited English proficiency; persons with low literacy; persons with disabilities; and LGBTI individuals. NGOs noted an increase in cases of street gangs engaging in human trafficking.
“Dai’s” story demonstrates the process by which those who have been exploited can be coerced or forced to become exploiters themselves. “Dai” escaped her situation initially by being “bought” by a wealthy customer. She eventually left him after becoming disgusted with her role as a female pimp.