Human Trafficking 101
Human Trafficking 101
Of the Victims are Ever Rescued
Trafficking is the
Largest Worldwide Criminal Enterprise
Every 30 Seconds a child or teen is sold into slavery
Average age of exploitation is 12-15 years old in the U.S.
Victims come from all communities across the U.S.
Every 30 seconds a child or teen is sold in slavery
Human trafficking is the 2nd largest criminal enterprise in the world
The number of cases increase every year in the U.S.
More than 100,000 children are exploited annually in the U.S.
Human trafficking is the act of compelling a person to engage in sexual acts or forced labor. The trafficker profits from this exploitation while continuing to manipulate the victims. This exploitation has reached near epidemic levels in the United States, and is why Just Ask works to stop this insidious crime from ever happening by creating a safety net within communities and building capacity of organizations to identify, prevent, and respond to suspected incidents.
Like any crime, human trafficking can occur in any community where there are teens to manipulate and a marketplace of users with money to service. In 2017, there were over 10,615 cases of human trafficking reported in the United States according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
This is only a small percentage of the actual occurrences of trafficking as many cases go unreported. There are so many unreported cases because most victims are too afraid and/or ashamed to ask for help and very few people recognize the trafficking that is happening all around them. This map (courtesy of Polaris Project) shows where these phone calls originated from. Visit National Human Trafficking Hotline website to get statistics specific to human trafficking.
Victims of human trafficking, and those that are targeted by traffickers, can be from any race, age, ethnicity, social or economic group, gender, sexual orientation or level of academic achievement.
TRAFFICKERS TARGET YOUNG PEOPLE WHO:
- Lack a sense of belonging to others
- Don’t feel well respected or valued by family or friends
- Base their self-worth on popularity or relationships
- Are willing to keep secrets, including their relationship
- Don’t have a good relationship with their parents
- Are looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend
- Are often bored with not much to do
- Spend a lot time away from family and friends
- Are willing to take directions and believe the lies and false promises of the trafficker
Those with pre-existing physical, emotional and cognitive disabilities may be at greater risk of falling victim to human trafficking due to their vulnerable state.
Like victims, traffickers come from all parts of society – every race, gender, and socio-economic group.
Boyfriend/Girlfriend: A common type is an attractive polished man (or woman) in their early 20s, who pretends to be a girlfriend or boyfriend to the teen.
Gangs: Criminal gangs also play a significant role in trafficking, sometimes using associates with a less threatening appearance to make the initial approach.
Employers: Fake employers also lure victims in, to both sex and labor trafficking with promises of modeling or other glamorous careers.
Family: Finally, some victims are trafficked by their own family members (or foster parents).
- 2nd Largest Criminal Enterprise Worldwide
- Estimated to overtake the Drug Trade
- National Center for Missing Exploited Children reports an 846% increase in reports of child sex trafficking
- National Human Trafficking Hotline has tracked over 36,000 calls since its inception
- $150 billion industry
- US Department of Justice reports that 50% of victims are under the age of 18