Human trafficking, the modern day practice of slavery, can be described most simply as “activities involved when one person obtains or holds another person in compelled service.”
Human trafficking is not limited to sexual exploitation, but also includes other purposes such as sweatshop and agricultural labor, domestic servants, nannies, manicurists, or restaurant and hotel workers.
Human trafficking is the 2nd largest international criminal industry, second only to drug trafficking. It is thought to enslave hundreds of thousands of victims throughout the world every year – 80% are female, 50% are under 18 years of age.
- Human trafficking is a crime that often goes under-reported due to its covert nature.
- In the New York area alone, private service providers reported working with almost 12,000 human trafficking survivors in a two year period from 2000-2010. The actual number of human trafficking victims would be much higher in reality, as victims often are unable or too fearful to come forward.
- Throughout the world, children might be sold to provide funds for the rest of their family, and adults are often lured away from impoverished homes with promises of travel and employment.
- Ads featuring trafficked women are often found in personal ads in local newspapers and online. Technology has made the buying and selling of people even more accessible.
If you live in the US and think you know a trafficking victim:
Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888 to anonymously report a tip.
The hotline is available 24/7, in over 200 languages, and will connect you to anti-trafficking services in your area.
Or text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733)
Sources of info include:
– The US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP)
– Hofstra University-LifeWay Network Human Trafficking Report
– Polaris Project