Facts about Human Trafficking

  • The United States is one of the top three destination points for trafficked victims and California, New York, Texas and Nevada are the top destination states within the country.
  • Los Angeles is one of the top three points of entry into this country for victims of slavery and trafficking. This trafficking route occurs in a triangle from Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada, and back to Sacramento, California. The diverse communities of these sprawling cities make it easier to hide and move victims from place to place, making it very difficult for law enforcement to locate potential survivors.
  • Women who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation experience a significantly higher rate of HIV and other STDs, tuberculosis, and permanent damage to their reproductive systems.
  • Trafficking victims normally don’t get help because they think that they or their families will be hurt by their traffickers, or that they will be deported.
  • Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the 21st century – a 9 billion dollar industry.
  • Human Trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world, after drug smuggling and arms dealing.
  • An estimated 27 million people are enslaved around the world this very moment.
  • An estimated 13 million children are enslaved around the world today, accounting for nearly half of trafficking victims in the world.
  • The average age of a young woman being trafficked is 12-14 years old.
  • More than 2/3 of sex trafficked children suffer additional abuse at the hands of their traffickers.
  • There are anywhere between 600,000 and 800,000 victims trafficked through international borders every year, which does not include the millions trafficked domestically within their own countries.
  • The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.
  • According to estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
  • A relatively large percentage of women and children who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation will become HIV positive, as they experience a tenfold risk of contracting HIV.
  • Trafficked children are significantly more likely to develop mental health problems, abuse substances, engage in prostitution as adults, and either commit or be victimized by violent crimes later in life.
  • According to the 2008 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat; it deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, it increases global health risks, and it fuels the growth of organized crime.

Statistics and information found at:

Polaris Project

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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