The Cold Facts of Modern Slavery
Sex trafficking involves the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, or obtaining a person for a commercial sex act through use of force, fraud, or coercion (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). It is a crime against humanity.
Every year, thousands of women and children fall into the hands of traffickers in their own countries and abroad. Every country in the world is implicated by this injustice, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination.
Slavery is still alive and well in our contemporary society.
- Governments estimate there are 27 million slaves being held worldwide—more than at any point in human history. (U.S. State Department, March 2012)
- Sexual exploitation makes up 79% of identified forms of human trafficking, including prostitution, forced stripping, massage services, and pornography. (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, 2009)
- 88% of these victims are women and children. (UN Office on Drugs and Crime, 2009)
- After drug trafficking, trafficking in humans ties with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today. It is the fastest growing. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011)
- Most sex trafficking is regional or national and is perpetrated by traffickers who are the same nationality as their victims. (United Nations, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2009)
- As many as 2 million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade. (U.S. State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2011)
- At least 15,000 people are trafficking into the United States annually. (U.S. State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2010)
- Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide. (U.S. State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2011)
- Estimates suggest as many as 300,000 children annually are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation. (Richard Estes and Neil Weiner for University of Pennsylvania, 2001)
- The average age of entry into prostitution in the United States is 13- to 14-years-old. (Sara Ann Friedman for ECPAT-USA, “Who Is There to Help Us?,” 2005)
- Nationwide there are fewer than thirty safe homes for victims of sex trafficking to receive treatment and services. This severe shortage regularly causes their inappropriate placement in juvenile detention facilities. (Streetlight Tuscon, 2012)