Every year 20-40 million people are trafficked around the world. It’s a massive business for traffickers who earn money by forcing their victims to provide labor or commercial sex acts for zero or no wages. This income is not reported to the government.
As a result, the income from this work is free and clear ( no wages, federal or state income tax withholding, healthcare, and social security). Consequently, this money goes straight to the traffickers’ bottom line or into profits.
We begin by asking several key questions and providing facts and statistics:
- What is Human Trafficking?
- Who are Victims of Human Trafficking?
- How to Spot Human Trafficking?
- List 10 Human Trafficking Facts.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is also called modern day slavery. Often victims are forced to work under slavery-like conditions without pay.
The trafficker or recruiter often uses disguised methods to hide the activity that is taking place acting as a normal business or law enforcement practices. They go undiscovered for this reason.
Human Traffickers Control, Exploit, and Force Victims
Ultimately the goal of human traffickers is to control, exploit, and force individuals to work or perform services for their financial gain. Accordingly, they use different tactics on their victim such as:
- Little pay or no payment at all
- Denial of any benefits (healthcare or social services)
- Taking identification, work authorization, or travel documents to keep them under their control
- Hijacking personal identity and credit history to prevent escape
- Preventing them from demanding a release from false debt
- Threats to use violence against them or loved ones
- Monitoring activity through technology and operatives
- Using family members as human shields or force them to become participants in the scheme to avoid harm or retaliation
Who are Victims of Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking victims can be:
- female or male (adult and children)
- any age,
- different race, ethnicity, nationality, or cultural backgrounds,
- any religion or
- any immigration status.
Children, especially, are targets for human traffickers. These targets primarily come from:
- child welfare or juvenile justice systems
- foster care
- homeless and runaway children or youth
- racial or ethnic minorities (particularly women and girls)
- Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) groups
In addition, undocumented workers or temporary visa program workers and non-English speaking persons are targets.
How to Spot Human Trafficking?
Although hard to detect, there are several general indicators of human trafficking activity. These signs help to determine if a person is being trafficked:
- Often unaware that they are being trafficked and believe that they are simply in a bad job or having a bad time in life.
- Is fearful of police/authorities.
- Fears the trafficker, believing their life or their family members’ lives are at risk.
- Shows signs of physical or psychological trauma (anxiety, bruising, untreated medical conditions, lack of memory of recent events)
- Fearful or ashamed to tell others about their situation.
- Have limited freedom of movement.
- Have limited access to medical care.
- Have no passport or mention that someone else is holding their passport.
- Are moved regularly to avoid detection.
- Receive little or no wages.
Human Trafficking Facts in the United States:
- The US State Department Uses The Phrases “Human Trafficking” “Trafficking In/Of Persons”, And “Modern Day Slavery”.
In 2019, the Polaris human trafficking hotline identified 22,326 survivors and victims. (Source: Polaris Project)
- It is estimated that only .04% of cases surface in the mainstream. 99.06% of cases go undetected.
- Human trafficking statistics in the United States show that 71% of victims are women and girls, while males account for 29%.
- With the massive popularity of social media, traffickers are now attracting victims using social media and online activity. They often offer a higher standard of living or glamorous life to their victims.
- The average age of teens who become involved in the sex trade in the United States is 12-14 years. Most of them are runaway girls who have a history of being abused as children.
- Human Trafficking Facts in the United States show that a large number of the victims of sex trafficking come from the foster care program.
- It is estimated by authorities that 50,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year. The top two countries where the victims come from are Mexico and the Philippines.
- In 2021 the top 5 states with the highest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline are California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Nevada.
- The estimated annual revenues from this activity are $150 Billion a year. $100 billion of this total comes from the sex industry associated with sex trafficking.
Join The Movement to end Human Trafficking
Armed with information and facts, the public can become a part of the movement to end human trafficking.
Human traffickers no longer can hide in plain sight when everyone understands their activities and practices.
I invite others to join the movement by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.ladytruthgood.