Nearly 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to declare the abolition of slavery. Although the country has drastically progressed since the 1800s, the tragedies of modern slavery affect millions around the world today. There is no country or nation that is untouched by human trafficking. It is the third largest international crime in the world that victimizes men, women, and children of all ages, ethnicity, and economic background. This illicit industry is a low-risk crime and an extremely profitable business for traffickers. The United States has become a leader in the fight against trafficking in persons and has adopted a number of laws and prohibitions against human trafficking. In general, the international community has come to an agreement that human trafficking is a serious threat that needs to be addressed. Victim protection is one of the most important components of combating human trafficking. Thus, it is important to understand the many elements contributing to one's vulnerability. Poverty, lack of education, and government corruption are some of the primary factors that leave individuals susceptible to human trafficking, but there are countless other determinants that require closer examination. The relationship between rates of human trafficking after natural disasters is an area with limited existing information. However, with the apparent impact of climate change and an increase in natural disasters, the number of cases of trafficking in persons is likely to increase. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has often played a distinguished role in international humanitarian assistance. Their efforts save thousands of lives by providing immediate food, water, and medical supplies, while assisting in the overall recovery of many international disaster areas such as after the Banda Aceh, Indonesia earthquake and tsunami in 2004, as well as after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Additionally, the DoD's potential to combat human trafficking is promising. The DoD has successfully adopted measures towards prevention by advocating a zero tolerance policy and implementing a Trafficking in Persons Training Program. Although this thesis does not provide an end-all solution to human trafficking, it does however, offer a helpful resource to those in the anti-trafficking community.