Startling Human Trafficking Facts: What You Need to Know

LifeWay Network joined the global community more than fifteen years ago to eradicate human trafficking by providing safe housing to survivors of all forms of trafficking and preventive education to the general public.

Human trafficking facts show that this illegal activity disproportionately impacts communities of color, women and girls, vulnerable individuals and other marginalized and underserved communities. Awareness of some basic — but startling — human trafficking facts is the first step toward combating this injustice.

Human Trafficking Facts

    • Human trafficking happens locally and globally. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states1 — from the suburbs to rural towns to major cities.
      • New York is one of the top five states in the country with the highest reported cases of human trafficking, including California, Texas, Florida and Michigan.2
    • The crime of human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.
    • Anyone can be a victim of sex trafficking. Men and women of all ages are exploited.
      • Inducing a child under the age of 18 to perform a commercial sex act, with or without force, fraud or coercion, is human trafficking. Under federal law, there is no such thing as child prostitution.3
    • A commonly misunderstood human trafficking fact: Many survivors are trafficked by people they know, including romantic partners and parents.
    • Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will.
    • Globally, there are close to 28 million people trapped in forced labor, with an estimated 17 million victims in labor trafficking for the private industry, an estimated 6 million victims of sex trafficking, and an estimated 4 million victims of state-imposed forced labor.4
      • A heartbreaking human trafficking fact: Only one percent manage to escape or be rescued.5
    • Human trafficking has become the fastest-growing illegal business on the planet, second only to the drug trade. Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion in profits annually.6

With the prevalence of this crime and its growing profit, it is important that we raise awareness of the human trafficking facts, share the legislative updates being implemented across our nation, and identify the many ways that YOU can support this human rights issue and its survivors.

What You Can Do

Being aware of the basic human trafficking facts is a strong first step in combating this pervasive crime. You can play a role in fighting back! Find ways to continue the conversation at

1 U.S. Department of State. 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report: United States.
2 National Human Trafficking Hotline. National statistics.
3 National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments. Child Sex Trafficking.
4 International Labour Organization. Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.–en/index.htm
5 Surviving Sex Trafficking.
6 White House. Fact Sheet: The National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (NAP).

Photo by Sean Witzke on Unsplash