Human Trafficking Facts:

  • Basic Definition: Human Trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for forced labor or sexual exploitation. It is not only a movement; it is a situation where the victim’s rights are taken away and the individual is forced to live under slave-like conditions. Thus it involves a complete violation and abuse of human rights.
  • Traffickers often target vulnerable populations (be it men, women, or children).
  • An estimated 21 million people are in forced labor and/or sexually exploited at any given time. But important to note is that human trafficking statistics vary greatly due to the nature of the issue and due to different definitions of trafficking.
  • Profits from global human trafficking networks is thought to total up to $32 billion per year, placing it amongst the top 3 largest criminal industries in the world (aside the illegal global trade in drugs and arms).
  • Human trafficking is sometimes combined with other forms of trafficking, such as drug trafficking or organ trafficking.
  • It is estimated that for every 800 victims of human trafficking only one person is prosecuted (on a global scale).
  • 80-98% of sex trafficking victims are women and girls, but human trafficking itself is not gender-biased. Human trafficking has around a 50/50 gender distribution worldwide.

We are, if anything, totally democratic when it comes to owning and abusing our fellow human beings. All that’s required is the chance of a profit and a person weak enough and vulnerable enough to enslave.” – Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter

Human beings are trafficked via various means of transportation, such as vehicles, planes, ships etc. There are, in fact, no limits to how persons are trafficked around the world. There are cases where people have been trafficked from Africa to America, without even getting caught by customs or other authorities. The level of criminal genius involved in transporting persons across borders is limitless and filled with various levels of manipulation. Border patrols are bribed into letting traffickers in and out of, for example, Europe, closing their eyes when the same women are moved in and out and around Europe.
Trafficked persons are used for a great deal of things, though what they are used for more specifically depends on their gender, age, and whether or not the trafficking situation is on international or national terms.
Trafficked children are in some cases used in organized pick-pocketing and begging in some countries, whilst in others they are used as factory workers, miners, and even as child soldiers. Sadly, their age has no apparent effect on whether or not they are used for sexual exploitation. The grimmest form of work children are used for is in the child-pornography or prostitution industry. Young girls are especially used within prostitution as traffickers can use them at all ages. Once the young woman becomes too old to be economically beneficial as a prostitute, she can be used as a domestic worker or alike, unless she is disposed of.
Trafficked men and women are in some cases used for the same type of work, such as hard agricultural labor, domestic work, industrial work, and sex work. However, as current research shows, most trafficked women are used in prostitution. There are cases where men have been forced into prostitution, however, most of the trafficked men have been found in the cleaning industry and other industries alike.