What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is the trade of human beings through force, fraud, and/or coercion for the purpose of exploitation for labor, sexual purposes, and/or organs. It is a crime under federal and international law and is referred to as modern-day slavery. Find more answers to your questions on our FAQ page.

Here are some important facts about Human Trafficking:

  • Human Trafficking is the 2nd largest criminal enterprise in the world (next to drug trafficking) and is in position to become the largest criminal industry in the world.
  • Traffickers profit approximately $150 billion each year. That is more than Nike, Starbucks and Google combined.
  • Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world.
  • Approximately 40.3 million people around the world are in slavery today.
  • Within the United States, experts estimate that over 100,000 children are trafficked per year.
  • According to the FBI, over 80 percent of confirmed sex trafficking cases in the United States involve American citizens. A staggering 40 percent of those cases involve the sale of American children for sex.
  • Because interstates 64, 95 and 295 all intersect in Richmond, it makes this city an attractive place for traffickers to do business- specifically ranked in the top 20 most prolific cities for trafficking.
  • The United States purchases more women and children for sex than any country in the world.
  • Social media continues to be an ever-changing recruitment method that traffickers use to lure new victims.
  • Approximately 800,000 victims are trafficked across international borders every year.
  • The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is published annually by the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.  An electronic archive of previous TIP Reports can be accessed at https://www.state.gov/g/tip/.  You can also contact the State Department office directly at 202-312-9639 to request a free hard copy of the report.

(Some above information provided courtesy of Polaris.)

Read stories about Human Trafficking victims who have survived