• Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery.
  • Human trafficking is prevalent in many countries around the world.  Different countries may be primarily sites of origin, transit, destination, and/or internal trafficking.
  • Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all fifty states of the United States (Free the Slaves).
  • Human trafficking is a market-based economy that exists on principles of supply and demand.  It thrives due to conditions which allow for high profits to be generated at low risk.



What is Human Trafficking?


  • As defined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the legal definition of “severe forms of trafficking in persons” is:
  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
  2. 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.


  • Under the legal definition, trafficking victims in the US can be divided into three populations:
  1. Minors (under age 18) induced into commercial sex;
  2. Adults age 18 or over involved in commercial sex via force, fraud, or coercion;
  3. Children and adults forced to perform labor and/or services in conditions of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery, via force, fraud, or coercion.


  • Victims are trafficked for a wide variety of purposes, such as commercial sex, agricultural work, or housekeeping, yet they all share the loss of one of our world’s most cherished rights—freedom.


  • There is no one consistent face of a trafficking victim. Trafficked persons can be rich or poor, men or women, adults or children, and foreign nationals or US citizens.


  • There is no one consistent face of a trafficker. Traffickers include a wide range of criminal operators, including individual pimps, small families or businesses, loose-knit decentralized criminal networks, and international organized criminal syndicates.



How Bad is It?


The 2014 Global Slavery Index presents a ranking of 167 countries based on the percent of a country’s population that is estimated to be in modern slavery.  This year they have also ranked countries based on what actions their governments are taking to end modern slavery.  They also analyzed the contextual factors that make people vulnerable to modern slavery.


Around the world today, there are an estimated 35.8 million men, women and children trapped in modern slavery.

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