Of course they are. The numbers in this article aren’t even an ice cube on the tip of the iceberg. This problem is huge and it’s not going to go away because some publicity got thrown at it.  Dig in people, it’s going to get worse before it gets better, but the fact that we’re started was the critical first hurdle.

Law enforcement is learning what to look for in the differentiation between trafficking and other crimes.  It’s hard. Organizations are beginning to take hold to help care for the victims, there’s only been a small handful (like Rachel Lloyd and Faith Huckle) handling the huge need in NYC. Give them money so they can expand!

Sooner or later prominent citizens from the upstairs New York will be sucked into trafficking as a vicitm instead of a buyer and THEN there’ll be more press and hopefully some action.  I don’t wish this upon anyone (trust me) but it seems to be the way things work in the City.  The downstairs New York, well, these things happen, you can’t dwell on it.

If the average New Yorker knew just how big a maelstrom the Organized Crime they’re so blasé about and the Transnational Organized Crime from a veritable ungodly UN of barbarism had breeched the gates of their fair city they would be a bit more interested.

The players in this game, the ones on the bad side? They’re very happy when you aren’t.

Even as Arrests Increase, Human Trafficking Remains A Problem

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
By Mirela Iverac

Areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan remain hubs for human trafficking even as the number of related arrests increase, according to law enforcement officials. The number of arrests in sex trafficking cases in New York City increased more than five times to 50 in 2011, up from 9 in 2008. Still, the data also suggests many trafficking victims remain out of reach.

Jackson Heights and Flushing, Queens, Koreatown in Manhattan and Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, remain active hubs where victims – mostly women and young girls between the ages of 10 and 30 — are being trafficked, according to Tenaz Dubash, Victim Assistance Coordinator with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In New York State, there have been a total of 96 arrests for sex and labor trafficking and 31 convictions since 2007 when the anti-trafficking law came into effect. Most arrests – 87– happened in New York City, according to ICE, the primary U.S. law enforcement agency responsible for combating human trafficking.

“We’re making dent, and we’re making progress,” said James Hayes, ICE’s Special Agent in Charge of Investigations. “But there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States each year, according to the Department of Justice. ICE has been reaching out to the public with information about trafficking, particularly through January, which is the Human Trafficking Awareness month.

Most trafficking victims are from impoverished backgrounds and come from Mexico, El Salvador or Guatemala, often by crossing the border illegally or from south-east Asia and Eastern Europe, using fraudulent documents.

Traffickers often entice their victims with the prospect of jobs, education or marriage in the United States.

“When they get here, they’re working 14 hours in a night club, 14 hours in a strip club, 14 hours in a massage parlor, or worse,” Hayes said.

Trafficked women forced into the sex industry makes about $25 to $30 each time she’s forced to have intercourse, which can be to about 30 to 40 times a night, Dubash said.

One of the main issues remains identification of trafficking victims, who are almost never able to identify themselves as such.

Police officers also don’t always recognize signs of trafficking, but Hayes said coordination with local law enforcement and training ICE  has provided has “increased the ability of both local, state and federal prosecutors to be able to bring charges against people.a