Louisiana Human Trafficking Report

The Modern Slavery Research Project at Loyola, with the support of the New Orleans Human Trafficking Work Group, released “The Louisiana Human Trafficking Report,” authored by Loyola professor Laura Murphy, Ph.D., who leads the research project and the work group, and alumnus Brian Ea ’12. This first-ever report on human trafficking in the New Orleans metro area sheds light on the problem, highlighting indicators that suggest sex trafficking and forced labor are significant concerns for the area. While New Orleans has rapidly increased its legal, law enforcement and service provider capacity to address human trafficking in the last five years, obstacles stand in the way of effectively assisting victims, according to the report.

“Understanding human trafficking in the United States is incredibly difficult because exploited laborers tend to be a hidden population. The Modern Slavery Research project is dedicated to producing thoughtful, data-driven, community-based research that can better inform our community’s approach to this issue,” Murphy said. “This report is only the beginning of the research we need to do to uncover the prevalence and scope of trafficking in Louisiana.”

The report points to several recommendations that aim to improve awareness and response to trafficking, including:

  • Establish a dedicated human trafficking legal court in New Orleans;
  • Vacate criminal records for all crimes committed by adults that are determined to be a result of labor or sex trafficking victimization;
  • Pursue appropriate cases as human trafficking instead of the Fair Labor Standards Act or, in the cases of sex trafficking, pandering or inciting prostitution;
  • Focus on arrest of traffickers instead of sex workers;
  • Increase training to health care professionals on identifying victims of trafficking;
  • Expand access to self-esteem, harm-reduction and anti-trafficking curricula for youth; and
  • Create a high school anti-human trafficking curriculum with sustainable dissemination model.

Learn more at the Loyola University New Orleans Office of Public Affairs article: Professor produces first official report of human trafficking problem in New Orleans.

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