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Human Trafficking: What You Need to Know as a Criminal Justice Professional

Human Trafficking is a transnational process where victims are recruited abroad and transported across borders into another country where they are exploited for labor and/or sex. However, human trafficking can also be a domestic phenomenon, where little or no transportation is required.

Under U.S. law, trafficking in persons is defined as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age;” or “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”

Here are 10 facts Criminal Justice Professionals need to know about Human Trafficking.

  1. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year of which 80% are female and half are children.
  2. Human trafficking affects every country of the world. It will often occur from less developed countries to more developed countries.
  3. 79% of trafficked victims are used for sexual exploitation followed by 18% used for forced labor.
  4. The average cost of a slave is $90.
  5. Human trafficking is the third-largest international crime industry.
  6. The sectors most frequently documented are agriculture or horticulture, construction, garments and textiles under sweatshop conditions, catering and restaurants, domestic work, entertainment, and the sex industry.
  7. Sometimes prosecutions are not successful because of the unwillingness of victims to cooperate with the criminal justice system where they have been threatened and intimidated by traffickers.
  8. An estimated 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, disease, torture, and neglect. Eighty percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under 24, and some are as young as six years old.
  9. Most human trafficking in the United States occurs in New York, California, and Florida.
  10. Today, slaves are cheaper than they have ever been in history. The population explosion has created a great supply of workers, and globalization has created people who are vulnerable and easily enslaved.

What can you do to help get involved in the fight against human trafficking? Click here to find out more!


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