Human trafficking is one of the most overlooked concerns that face our global society today. People from every walk of life are effected by human trafficking, whether they realize it or not. Until we begin to inform ourselves of these important statistics about this horrible practice, those who traffic humans are never going to feel the need to stop.
It is estimated that there are 27 million people who are in modern-day slavery across the world right now.
Human Trafficking Facts
Some estimates of human trafficking from the United States puts that number around 4 million. Even if there is only 1 person being held as a slave, however, that is one person too many. No one deserves to be exploited. Everyone deserves the chance to pursue happiness in their own way. That’s why information like this can be so empowering.
- There are 800,000 people who are trafficked across international borders every year for the sole purpose of slavery.
- The number of children who are exploited because of the global commercial sex trade every year: 1 million.
- Half of all the people who are trafficked across international borders every year are under the age of 18.
- 8 out of 10 people who are victims of human trafficking are women and girls.
- 70% of the women and girls who are trafficked internationally are done so to participate in some form of sexual trade. Only 30% of female victims are purchased for forced labor.
- 161 countries are currently affected by human trafficking at any given moment.
- There are currently 128 countries that are considered “locations of origin” that create victims of human trafficking today.
- In 2012, the International Labor Organization estimated that there are 20.9 million human trafficking victims worldwide.
Imagine having someone you know disappear suddenly. You desperately search to find them, but it is to no avail. They are missing, gone, and eventually assumed dead. The only problem is that the people who are victims of human trafficking are very much alive – at least physically. The hardships that victims in this trade face are beyond the scope of imagination. From daily rape to forced labor that exceeds 12 hours every day, children – and especially girls – are being exploited for their resources. This is why we need to make human trafficking a point of emphasis on a daily basis. Even if just one life is saved by your efforts, that is a small way that you have been able to change the world for the better.
What Are The Costs of Human Trafficking?
- Human traffickers are estimated to bring in $32 billion of direct profit every year because of their activities.
- The amount of profit that is made through human trafficking that occurs in industrialized countries today: $15.5 billion.
- $9.8 billion is earned every year for human trafficking that occurs in the Asia-Pacific region.
- The average worker in a forced labor situation earns an average of $13,000 in revenues for their overseer. Some victims may earn nearly $70,000 per year in pure profits.
Many jurisdictions in the industrialized nations are concerned with what is called an “underground economy.” In basic terms, the concern is that freelancers or contractors aren’t paying their fair share of taxes because they are being paid in cash under the table. Now think about the billions in revenues that are being generated by human trafficking every year. It is billions of dollars that is most definitely not being reported, creating a true underground economy where the rich get richer, but those who are stuck in slavery just die because they are replaceable. Maybe our focus should be on this subject instead of a few bucks in cash that is not reported on a tax form for some reason.
Human Trafficking Occurs in the United States
- As many as 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States every single year. This is actually down from up to 50,000 foreign nationals that were brought into the country in 2001.
- Only 10% of the estimated victims of human trafficking are actually certified by the Department of Health and Human Services.
- From 2000 to 2007, 131 minors were determined to be victims of human trafficking in the United States.
- The number of different countries that have had at least one victim of human trafficking found in the US: 77.
- Only 1,318 T-visas were granted by the United States to victims of human trafficking between the years of 2000-2008. Most of those visas were granted before 2006.
- About 244,000 American children are estimated to be at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, especially when commercial child sex exploitation is considered.
- Out of the 1.6 million kids that run away from home annually in the US, 38,000 of them will become victims of human trafficking.
- The average age of an American victim in the commercial sex industry that is fueled by human trafficking: 12-14 years old.
These statistics prove that human trafficking isn’t just an international problem. It occurs in our own communities. It affects our neighbors. It is more present than we want to believe that it is. This means that we need to take action right now if we are going to protect our families. Will we be able to completely eradicate slavery and human exploitation? Probably not. There are some people who are just inherently evil at the core of their soul. What we can do is limit the damage that they are able to cause. If we just ignore human trafficking because it hasn’t affected us directly in some way, to some extent, we become culpable for the actions that human traffickers are taking right now.
What Does The FBI Know About Human Trafficking?
- About 8 in 10 of the suspected incidents of human trafficking were classified as sex trafficking, and about 1 in 10 incidents were classified as labor trafficking.
- The confirmed human trafficking incidents open for at least a year led to 144 known arrests.
- Federally funded task forces opened 2,515 suspected incidents of human trafficking for investigation between January 2008 and June 2010.
- Only 11% of the FBI cases opened in human trafficking were due to labor cases.
- Out of 389 incidents that were confirmed using “high data quality task forces,” there were 488 suspects and 527 total victims.
- 62% of the victims of US human trafficking were age 25 or above.
- African-Americans [40%] make up the largest racial demographic of US human trafficking victims.
- For victims identified in the United States in confirmed sex trafficking incidents, 83% of them were confirmed to be US citizens.
- Human trafficking that involves labor is more likely to involved undocumented aliens in the US than any other demographic.
- The percentage of US human trafficking suspects who were male: 81%.
Why is human trafficking flying under the radar of American law enforcement officials and households in general? Because the statistics are completely the opposite in the US than anywhere else in the world. Instead of women being the clear majority of victims, it is American men – even in commercial sex trafficking. Instead of children being the most common victim, it is adults that are at least the age of 25. The most dramatic information of all, however, is the amount of arrests in the US that have occurred. With only 144 arrests and nearly 500 suspects in just the confirmed cases, there is an almost 1 in 4 chance that a human trafficker is going to escape any consequence whatsoever in the United States because of their actions. That’s a statistic that should bother you.
Why Is Sexual Exploitation The Emphasis Of Human Trafficking?
- A pimp can make up to $200k per child each year and the average pimp has 4 to 6 girls.
- The average victim may be forced to have sex up to 48 times a day.
- Fewer than 100 beds are available in the United States for underage victims of human trafficking right now.
- 30% of the teens who run away from home for more than 24 hours will be lured toward prostitution.
- One study estimates 30% of shelter youth and 70% of street youth are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
- 75% of child victims engaged in prostitution are under the control of a pimp.
- Virginity is highly prized and quite valuable in some societies. Combined with beliefs that children can’t obtain HIV or AIDS and sexual exploitation of children becomes a highly profitable venture.
Here’s one of the most bothersome facts of all: human trafficking doesn’t actually need to involve the movement of the victim. People can be exploited where they live in many different ways. Although horror stories about being kept on a boat for a year as a sexual slave or being purchased for $600 by a pimp to perform sexual favors dominate the headlines, the average victim of sexual exploitation stays local instead of going global. That’s why knowing the warning signs of sexual exploitation is so important. If children become addicted to drugs, become involved in gangs, and begin showing up with expensive gifts that they shouldn’t be able to afford, then trouble could very well be brewing. Kids who have a history of family abuse, show signs of current abuse, or choose to run away are most at risk. With fewer than 100 beds available, however, even if someone wants to get away from sexual exploitation, they might not be able to have a safe place to stay. That’s why action is required right now.
It’s A Global Problem And It’s A Local Problem
- 10 million children are subjected to various forms of sexual exploitation in the commercial sex industry.
- In the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia, approximately 30% of sex workers are between 12-17 years old.
- More than 2 million children enter into the commercial sex industry annually.
- More than 250,000 sex tourists visit Asia each year. 13% of those visitors come from Australia.
- Because of the clandestine nature of human trafficking, statistical figures can be conflicting. Government corruption, a lack of victims who come forward, and those who are considered illegal immigrants and not counted also contribute to the problem.
It isn’t just weak legislation or problems with law enforcement that cause human trafficking to occur. One of the main causes of human trafficking, in any of its forms, is poverty. When people are so desperate to find a better life that they will allow themselves to be exploited, then it is proof that we as a global society are doing something wrong. The world is currently able to produce nearly 20% more calories on an annual basis than what the entire human population needs. There should not be any hunger at all, yet in some communities in the United States, 1 out of every 5 children goes hungry. We need to get over inequality issues, class issues, and wealth issues to help those who most need it.
Why Benefits From Human Trafficking?
- 72% of the abusers in human trafficking cases were male.
- The age range of abusers is equal to the age range of victims. Some abusers are as young as 12 years old.
- People of Caucasian decent are the most likely to take advantage of children through human trafficking. People of Asian decent are the second most likely.
In order to stop human trafficking, we need to do three specific things: eliminate the differences in information so that we have solid facts; decide to take action in preventing sexual tourism; and eliminate the emphasis on providing cheap goods and services so that others can profit. Many people in the world today live on the equivalent of US $2 per day. What was the last thing you purchased with two dollars? That’s money that many people would just throw away and think nothing of. Because of low wages, people think human trafficking is a better option of life. If we take action with those three points of emphasis and begin raising up the least of these, we’ll begin to stop human trafficking once and for all.