About the Issue

A Serious Problem – Around the Globe and in the USA

International

  • An estimated 21 million people are enslaved around the world today.
  • There are anywhere between 600,000 and 800,000 victims trafficked through international borders every year, which does not include the millions trafficked domestically within their own countries.
  • It is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the 21st century – a $150 billion dollar industry (International Labor Organziation 2014)
  • Trafficking ranks second, after drug smuggling and tying with arms dealing, in organized crime activities.
  • According to the 2008 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat; it deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, it increases global health risks, and it fuels the growth of organized crime.
  • The majority of victims of slavery are women and children – traffickers prey on those who suffer most from macro factors like gender discrimination, family violence, and a lack of access to education and economic opportunity.
  • Although women and children make up a majority of trafficking victims, there has been an increase in the victimization of men as well. Twenty percent of the victims CAST is serving are male.

National

  • According to CIA estimates, as many as 15,000 to 17,500 men, women and children are trafficked into The United States every year.
  • The United States is one of the top three destination points for trafficked victims, along with Japan and Australia. California, New York, Texas and Nevada are the top destination states in the country.
  • States such as California, Florida, New York, Nevada and Ohio are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking because of factors such as: proximity to international borders, number of ports and airports, significant immigrant population, and large economy that includes industries that attract forced labor.
  • Slavery and trafficking are not only limited to these states and can be found everywhere. At the beginning of 2009, incidences of potential human trafficking were identified all over the country, including Ohio, Iowa, Washington, Florida, New York, Texas and Hawaii.
  • Los Angeles is one of the top three points of entry into this country for victims of slavery and trafficking. The diverse communities of this sprawling city make it easier to hide and move victims from place to place, making it very difficult for law enforcement to locate potential survivors.
  • Law enforcement in Las Vegas believes that trafficking and slavery in the “Sin City” has increased because of advertisements that encourage people to “sin all they can” while in Vegas – without anyone needing to find out.