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What is Human Trafficking?

What Is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery widespread throughout the United States. It is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, second only to drug dealing. It generates an estimated 32 billion dollars annually, and is growing at an alarming rate.

Human trafficking is accomplished through the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by means of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. A person does not need to be transported to be considered a victim of trafficking. A large number of victims are trafficked within their own countries. Most victims of trafficking are forced to work in the commercial sex industry, such as prostitution or sex entertainment, or exploited for labor, such as domestic servitude or restaurant work, sweatshop factory work or migrant agricultural work. Some victims are trafficked for the purpose of organ removal.

The Faces of Modern Day Slavery

Victims of human trafficking can be any age, gender, or race, though women and children make up the largest group of victims. Force, fraud or coercion is not required in the case of a minor engaged in sexual exploitation.

Sex Trafficking

  • Recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for a commercial sex act that is induced by force, fraud or coercion;
  • When the person induced to perform such an act is less than 18 years of age, no force fraud, or coercion is necessary.

Labor Trafficking

  • Recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining 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.


... trafficked world-wide each year.

The U.S. Department of State estimates that in the last ten years 145,000 to 175,000 foreign nationals have been trafficked into the U.S for commercial sexual exploitation of forced labor. Data suggests that at least 100,000 U.S. children are currently being exploited in the commercial sex trade in the U.S and another 200,000 are at risk.

More statistics at the Victims of Crime website.