Human Trafficking

What is Human Trafficking?

  1. sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or,

  1. the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. A victim does not have to be physically transported from one location to another in order for the crime to fall within these trafficking definitions

  2. An easy was to visualize what constitutes trafficking is the Action-Means-Purpose (AMP) Model:


Human Trafficking in North Carolina

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. The prevalence of human trafficking in North Carolina is due to many factors, including the major highways that run through our state (40, 85, and 95), a large, transient military population surrounded by sexually oriented businesses, numerous rural agricultural areas with a high demand for cheap labor, and an increasing number of gangs. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, in 2017, North Carolina had 221 reported human trafficking cases. This statistic puts North Carolina 8th among all 50 states, in terms of the number of reported human trafficking cases.



Human Trafficking Laws

In the state of North Carolina, human trafficking is considered a felony. As defined by the North Carolina General Statutes in Chapter 14, Article 10A, human trafficking in North Carolina is defined by coercion, deception, involuntary servitude, minor status, and sexual servitude. For an adult, trafficking constitutes a Class F felony. For a child, it constitutes a Class C felony. 


GS.14.430-20 (Safe Harbor/Victims of Human Trafficking)

  • Provides protections for and responses to minor victims of human trafficking
  • Decriminalizes prostitution-related offenses for minors
  • Ensures child welfare system has jurisdiction over child trafficking victims
  • Mandates the creation of a plan of action for law enforcement and child welfare


GS 115C-81(el)(4a)

  • Boards of Education must address sex trafficking awareness and prevention in schools
  • 7th graders will be taught reproductive health and safety education
  • Awareness of sexual assault, sexual abuse and risk reduction


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How Can I Get Involved?

For more information, please contact us at:

Kiricka Yarbough Smith

C.O.P.E. HT Project Administrator 
Office: 919-733-2455