Human trafficking happens in nearly every corner of the world.
What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. It is estimated that between 600,000 – 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked across borders worldwide every year.
It is among the fastest growing illegal activities in the world.
Human trafficking is the third most profitable criminal activity worldwide after drugs and arms trafficking. Forced labor, including sex slavery, generates $31 billion dollars each year. Unlike drugs or arms, women and children can be “sold” several times, making the slave industry highly lucrative for traffickers.
Traffickers are typically linked to organized crime and view human trafficking as a low risk means of generating high profits. They prey on the desperation of men, women and children seeking an escape from a life of poverty. They work within a criminal network to recruit, transport and exploit these victims to generate illicit profits.
Victims are typically tricked or forced. Traffickers use false promise of high paying jobs and safe entry into a foreign country to lure victims into sexual or labor exploitation. Upon reaching their destinations, they often find that they have been deceived about the nature of the work they will do and lied to about the conditions of their employment.
All victims find themselves in abusive and coercive situations from which escape is both difficult and dangerous. Traffickers use many tactics to control their victims including passport theft, intimidation and isolation. Victims are often raped, severely beaten, and even starved. Victims are deprived of their independence and basic human rights: the freedom to move, to choose, to control their bodies and to control their futures.