Human Trafficking Facts & Figures

Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining a person for labor or services through the use of force, coercion, or fraud for the purpose of involuntary servitude, debt bondage or slavery.  It also includes illegal adoptions of children and the trafficking of human organs.


Trafficking is not “alien smuggling” or “illegal immigration.” Smuggling is a crime against the state.  Trafficking is a crime against the person.

There is a direct connection between human trafficking and immigration. Undocumented immigrants are much more susceptible to trafficking.

Traffickers often lure their victims away from their families with the promise of a good job in another country. Escape is virtually impossible as they are made to fear retaliation against their families if they attempt to flee.

Women, children, and also vulnerable men, work in factories, mines, fields, restaurants, hotels, homes, and in every facet of the sex industry.

Few victims and survivors come forward for fear of retaliation, shame, or lack of understanding of what is happening to them. There is also a lack of education regarding how to access survival resources, employment, and needed services.

After drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the 2nd largest criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest growing.

Center of Homeland Security and Defense

More than 12 million women, men, and children are enslaved around the world.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

600,000-800,000 people are trafficked around the world each year.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Approximately 4 billion people live outside the protection of the law. This means that their public justice systems — their police, courts and laws — are so broken, corrupt and dysfunctional, that there is nothing to shield these people from violence and abuse.

International Justice Mission


2 million children are estimated to be trafficking victims of sex trade each year.


Girls fetch the highest price at the age of 7.

Sanlaapa North America

Approximately 14,500 – 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the US each year.

U.S. State Department 

One of the most difficult realities in the trafficking issue is the propensity of governments worldwide to treat trafficked persons as criminals or as unwanted, undocumented workers rather than as people with human rights who are being violated.

U.S. State Department

Every year thousands of American children are lured into the trafficking industry.

National Runaway Safeline

90% of trafficked people are female and 36% are minors.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

The average age of a girl being forced into the US domestic sex slavery market is 13.

Human Trafficking Awareness

The reality of trafficking and slavery remains mostly invisible and in the United States, trafficking for labor or the sex trade often occurs in local communities.

Estimates suggest that about 50,000 people are trafficked into the US each year, most often from Mexico and the Philippines. 51% of the criminal human trafficking cases involve children.

Do Something

The states with the most human trafficking activity are California, New York and Texas.

U.S. State Department

It has never been cheaper to own a slave than it is today. In 1850, an average slave in the American South cost the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money. Now the average cost of a slave globally is about $90.

Free the Slaves

The National Human Trafficking Resources Hotline phone number is 888-373-7888.

National Human Trafficking Resources

During the first 6 months in 2018, there were 19,000 human trafficking calls — a 43% increase over the same period in 2017.

99% of trafficking victims are never rescued.