You might not think it, but human trafficking is alive and well within the United States today.

Each year, an estimated 15000 to 50000 girls and women are trafficked. Worldwide, it has been suggested that 5.5 million kids are also victims.

Somewhere between three quarters and 80% of those trafficked are forced into the sex trade. And, the majority are millennials.

It may be surprising to learn that the definition of human trafficking includes young people not being transported across borders, or even involving any movement at all. Even more shockingly, it was not specifically outlawed in the United States until 2000!

The internet has been blamed for playing a major part in the trafficking of young people within the United States.

In 2016, an ABC documentary  shone an insight into the world of sex trafficking within the USA.

The story it posts is an all too common an experience, for thousands of young people in America and across the world today.

Predictably, it is young people and children in the care system, who are most at risk of being trafficked. In 2013, 60% of victims had been or were in foster care.

Other vulnerable groups include Native American girls and migrant farm workers.  

It is estimated over 500 Native American women may have been trafficked in 2016 alone. In 2015, nationwide, 40% of all victims were Native American.

How To Stay Safe

It is vital that young people remain vigilant to the risks of human trafficking, both abroad, and at home.

Official advice suggests that young women, in particular, take extra care and treat strangers with caution. Someone looking to traffic people will appear friendly and often are well dressed.

Be wary of offers of accommodation or help to find work. Do not reveal to a stranger where you are staying, if you are in an unknown city or place. Also, be careful when sharing your confidential details.

When abroad, do not give your passport to anyone else, for “safekeeping”.

Human Trafficking Statistics

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  • Between 600000-800000 people are trafficked across international borders annually.
  • When domestically trafficked victims are included in this number, the number of victims may exceed 2 million and be as many as 4 million.
  • Of this number, between 15000 to 50000 girls are trafficked within the United States.
  • In child victims of human trafficking, females outnumber males two to one.
  • Children are trafficked with the promise of a job and better life, and then forced into sex work or slavery.
  • The U.S.A. born victims of human trafficking may be from any socio economic or racial background, and may be from either the country or urban areas.
  • However, girls from Native American backgrounds are the most at risk of human trafficking.
  • The internet is responsible for more than three quarters of all cases of human trafficking for sex with children.
  • Overall, there are an estimated 1.5 million victims within the United States of human trafficking.
  • Worldwide, there may be as many as 20.9 million victims of global trafficking.
  • Worldwide, 2 million children are forced into prostitution.
  • The USA is ranked as one of the worst places for sex and human trafficking in the world – next to the Philippines and Mexico.
  • There have been 49000 reported cases of sex trafficking logged by the National Human Trafficking Hotline, since 2007.
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