Florida’s Supposed Human Trafficking Issue


Credit: ARFJ

Sally-Emma Calandroni, Design Editor

According to The National Human Trafficking Hotline, Florida is the third worst perpetrator of human trafficking in the country, behind California and Texas.

As of December of 2017, there have been a reported 40,200 cases since 2007 across America. Florida, as of 2018, has had 5,147 reports of human trafficking, Tampa being the worst of it.

The most recent large scale human trafficking bust was in Jupiter at the Orchids of Asia day spa in October of 2018. It ran as a massage parlor harboring prostitutes, that while massaging offered their services to customers.

An important piece discussion when it comes to the topic of Florida’s widespread issue of sex trafficking is that not all of the supposed victims are forced into it. Consensual prostitution, although illegal, is not equivocal to sex trafficking.

Sex-worker advocates offered another narrative to the sex trafficking epidemic in Florida, that this sting was to target consensual sex workers. The debate goes as follows; anti-sex-trafficking stings are in fact moralistic anti-sex-work stings that end with no real victims found and the arresting of consensual sex workers.

Many of these advocates for consensual sex workers believe that Florida and its police department are greatly exaggerating sex trafficking and making it seem more of an issue than it truly is.

Whether the statistics and claims are true can’t honestly be verified, it is all left up to speculation and if you think that trafficking is as big of an issue it’s made out to be.

All the speculation aside, the fact remains that human trafficking exists, numbers exaggerated or not, it is of utmost importance that every remains safe and aware.