Attorney General Todd Rokita welcomes sports fans visiting the Circle City this week for the NBA All-Star games and asks them to be on alert for signs of human trafficking. This week, over 100,000 sports fans are expected to visit Indianapolis for the 2024 NBA All-star games. Unfortunately, large events with out-of-town spectators are known to create an increased risk of human trafficking.
“All-Star weekend is meant to be fun and safe,” Attorney General Rokita said. “But a large sporting event is a trafficker’s ultimate marketplace for this modern form of slavery. Please be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activities to law enforcement.”
People in certain job roles — such as medical professionals, restaurant workers, hotel staff and truck drivers — are particularly likely to come into contact with trafficking victims.
Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise. It occurs anytime someone uses force, fraud or coercion to make another individual provide labor, services or commercial sex acts. If the person performing commercial sex acts is under 18, the crime of human trafficking still occurs, even without the elements of force, fraud or coercion.
According to the U.S. State Department, signs that someone might be a victim of trafficking include observations that someone:
- lives with their employer.
- lives with multiple people in a cramped space.
- otherwise experiences poor living conditions.
- is prohibited from speaking alone to strangers.
- gives answers that appear to be scripted and rehearsed.
- has an employer holding their identity documents.
- shows signs of physical abuse.
- is submissive or fearful.
- is unpaid or paid very little.
- is under 18 and working in the commercial sex industry.
If you have suspicions that someone is being trafficked, you should immediately call local law enforcement. You may also call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
In America, the scourge of human trafficking is propagated in significant part by criminal cartels operating out of Mexico.
“Human trafficking might not seem like a threat to everyday Hoosiers, but with the constant threat taking place at our border, it should be on our minds constantly,” Attorney General Rokita said.
In addition to multiple lawsuits on this border issue, Attorney General Rokita and his team are engaged in other efforts to combat human trafficking.
The Office of the Attorney General operates the Address Confidentiality Program, which helps protect victims of certain crimes — including those who have been trafficked — by concealing their residential address from the public and thereby their victimizers.
Learn more about the program at the Attorney General’s website.