Men, women, and children are sold into a $150 billion annual market for sex and labor. This is happening globally, nationally and locally; in hotels, restaurants, and on street corners. Slavery is wrapped up in almost every industry’s supply chain, tainting the food we eat, the clothes we buy, and the electronics we love. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and involves the movement of people by means of violence, deception or coercion for the purpose of forced labor, servitude, or slavery-like practices. It 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.
Types of Human Trafficking?
Sex Trafficking Victims of sex trafficking can be found working for massage parlors, brothels, strip clubs, escort services and on the street. They may be children, teenagers or adults lured by false promises and ultimately forced into prostitution. Labor Trafficking Victims of labor trafficking can be found in many types of domestic and non-domestic situations. They work as nannies and maids, in sweatshops, janitorial jobs, restaurants, hair and nail salons, in street sales and on construction sites and farms. The victims are trapped into a cycle of debt, forcing them into involuntary servitude, debt bondage and slavery.
Although there are many statistics surrounding human trafficking, not all may be entirely accurate because human trafficking is difficult to track. The following are a few current statistics established from the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Justice, and Free the Slaves.
More than 50% of victims worldwide are estimated to be under the age of 18
Approximately 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked in the United States annually
Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all fifty states of the United States
Victims are trafficked for a wide variety of purposes such as sex acts, 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, foreign nationals or U.S. 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 groups.
2018 Attorney General's Human Trafficking Commission Report
Locations of likely human trafficking cases in the United States in 2018. Source - Polaris Project.
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