In the United States, the slave trade was officially ended in 1807 when the congress enacted legislation that stated that no new slaves were permitted to be imported. With the passing of The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, the practice of bringing slaves into this country should have long ago become a relic of the past. Most modern Americans think that this slavery is long gone, so it’s shocking to learn that the business of trafficking in humans, a present day version of slavery, is alive and even thriving in our state. California is ranked as one of the states with the worst problems of human trafficking with Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego being among the top 10 areas in the United States for the activity. There are subtle signs if we pay close attention. Sometimes a police raid of a human stash house or the story of a young woman sold into prostitution gets reported by local TV, but these stories are the exceptional few that have managed to emerge from what is a growing industry of trafficking in human beings.
Human trafficking as a modern form of slavery has evolved profoundly over the last five years. The reasons for this evolution are rooted in long established drug smuggling methods and the widening use of social media. Now a prime player in the human trafficking trade, the drug trafficking trade spawned transnational and domestic gangs, which then added the lucrative trafficking of human beings to their accustomed businesses of moving guns and drugs. By providing an easy method of victim recruitment, social media has become a key facilitator of human trafficking, particularly in the sex worker industry. All perpetrators of human trafficking have become more sophisticated and organized, in particular, technologically.