Human Trafficking Overview

What exactly is human trafficking?

Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is modern-day slavery. The legal definition is:

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 subjecting that person to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Human trafficking may take many forms, including trafficking in the sex industry; into forced labor in factories, restaurants, or agricultural work; into domestic servitude as a servant, housekeeper, or nanny; or as a bride. It is the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world, victimizing millions of people and reaping billions in profits.

Victims of trafficking often come from the most vulnerable populations, including undocumented migrants, runaways and at-risk youth, oppressed or marginalized groups, and the poor. These groups are often easiest to recruit and control and are least likely to be protected by law enforcement.

  • Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation.
  • It is estimated that at least 27 million people are currently enslaved around the world, many have been enslaved through being
    trafficked. (Free the Slaves)
  • Approximately 800,000 people annually are trafficked across national borders. Around 80 percent of these victims are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors. The majority of females are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. (2007 Trafficking in Persons Report, U.S. State Department)
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) now believes that the number of children trafficked each year is around 1.2 million. (2006)
  • That’s two children per minute trafficked for sexual exploitation/slavery.
  • 45,000-50,000 persons are trafficked into the U.S. each year; 15,000 of them are children. (ECPAT-USA)
  • The U.N. and other experts estimate the total market value of illicit human trafficking at $32 billion. (UNODC)
  • These numbers make trafficking in persons the second most lucrative crime in the world, second only to the sale of drugs. (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2006).
  • About $28 billion of this is generated from commercial sexual exploitation. (International Labor Organization)
AttachmentSize
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service - Trafficking Victim ID Guidance.pdf62.48 KB
U.S. Health and Human Services Human Trafficking Factsheet.pdf41.88 KB

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