HUman Trafficking

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. It is the illegal exploitation of a person.1

It happens everywhere, even within the United States, and the victims can be of any nationality, age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. 2

The 2 main forms of Human Trafficking are:

  • Sex Trafficking: Victims are manipulated or forced against their will to perform sexual acts. Hotel rooms, rest areas, and street corners are a few of the places victims are forced to sell sex.
  • Forced Labor: Victims of forced labor could be working in factories, on farms, doing construction work, and more. They are often made to manufacture products we use every day and they are forced to do so for little to no money.2

The majority of trafficking victims are between 18 and 24 years of age. 5

People are reported to be trafficked from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries, affecting every continent and every type of economy. 5

The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally4.

  • 81% of them are trapped in forced labor
  • 25% of them are children
  • 75% are females

The International Labor Organization estimates that forced labor and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide.

It is estimated that human trafficking is second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.1

In 2017, an estimated 1 out of 6 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims.4

Common indicators to help recognize Human Trafficking victims:

  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom they defer? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, (e.g., where they go or who they talk to)?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?3
  • Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips.
  • Works excessively long and/or unusual hours.
  • Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of their work.4
  • Trust your judgment. If a situation/individual makes you uncomfortable, trust that feeling.7
  • Know the facts. Before you travel make sure you are informed about the prevalence of human trafficking. Find out information about who is most likely to be a victim, what warning signs to look for, and what steps you can take if you find yourself in a precarious situation. 6
  • Beware of strangers. Sex traffickers often seem harmless and might be well-dressed, young, and good looking. Don’t ever tell a stranger your full name, where you are going, or if you are staying alone. 6
  • Do NOT attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. It is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking.