Fighting Human Trafficking
The City of Minneapolis is committed to fighting all forms of human trafficking. City leaders have broadened the scope of work to focus on labor trafficking and exploitation of adults in addition to the City's nationally recognized work in fighting juvenile sex trafficking.
Shunu Shrestha is the City's senior advisor for human trafficking prevention. The position is funded for two years through the Pathways to Freedom city challenge led by Humanity United and the Novo Foundation. Minneapolis was one of three cities in the country selected to receive funding to develop coordinated, citywide solutions to trafficking.
What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is the sale of a person for the purpose of sexual acts or forced labor. As noted by the Minnesota Human Trafficking Taskforce, human trafficking is "public safety, public health and human rights issue that occurs around the world and communities throughout Minnesota."
Minnesota law defines sex trafficking as the “receiving, recruiting, enticing, harboring, providing, or obtaining by any means an individual to aid in the prostitution of an individual; or by receiving profit of anything of value, knowing or having reason to know it is derived from [the sex trafficking of an individual].” Minn. Stat. 609.321, Subd. 7a.
Minnesota law defines labor trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, enticement, provision, obtaining, or receipt of a person by any means, for the purpose of: debt bondage or forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery; or the removal of organs through the use of coercion or intimidation; or receiving profit or anything of value, knowing or having reason to know it is derived from [labor trafficking].” Minn. Stat. 609.281 Subd. 5
How to report trafficking and labor exploitation
- If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of being trafficking, call 911.
- If you are a victim of trafficking and need to find shelter and/or other services, call Day One at 1-866-223-1111.
- To report a suspected trafficking situation, use the Minnesota BCA Tip Form, call the BCA at 1-877-996-6222 or email [email protected].
- State law mandates that allegations of child trafficking be reported to local child protection services.
- National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888; text 233733
- To file a complaint related to the City's minimum wage and sick and safe time ordinances, visit the City of Minneapolis Civil Rights Department web section.
Wage theft happens when an employer fails to pay wages earned by its employee. Approximately one quarter of all low wage workers in Minneapolis consistently suffer from various acts of wage theft, including off-the-clock work, denial of overtime, misclassification or fraud, and other illegal deductions from pay.
Learn more about the City's new wage theft prevention ordinance.
- "Wage theft in Minneapolis," report (March 4, 2019) by the Minneapolis Workplace Advisory Committee
- Learn more about wage theft and tips for avoiding it on the state's Department of Labor and Industry's website.
State and local resources
- Breaking Free
- City of Minneapolis Civil Rights Labor Standards Enforcement Division
- Hennepin County: No Wrong Door
- International Institute of Minnesota
- City of Minneapolis Health Department
- Minnesota Department of Human Services
- Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry: Wage Theft guide
- Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force
- Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center
- Safe Harbor Minnesota
- The Advocates for Human Rights
- The Enitan Story
- The Family Partnership
- The Link
- Urban Research and Outreach Engagement Center
- Women's Foundation of Minnesota
What is the City doing to fight trafficking?
City selected for grant funding to develop coordinated approaches to fighting trafficking
Shunu Shrestha recently joined the City as the senior advisor for human trafficking prevention. Her position is funded for two years through the Pathways to Freedom city challenge led by Humanity United and the Novo Foundation. Minneapolis was one of three cities in the country selected in 2018 to receive funding to develop coordinated, citywide solutions to trafficking.
The City of Minneapolis has been a leader in addressing juvenile sex trafficking and recently collaborated with more than 100 community partners to highlight the problem during Super Bowl LII. Shrestha is working with the City to build on these efforts and develop a plan focused on labor-trafficking-related issues.
In 2013, the City Council passed an ordinance requiring Minneapolis massage businesses to be licensed and a resolution advancing the City's efforts to fight trafficking of youth. The resolution established a new City work group to coordinate work on trafficking.
The City's new wage theft prevention ordinance took effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Mayor Frey declares January Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Month
A message from City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins
Last updated Jan 13, 2020