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Facts About Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation:

Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment and transportation of persons within or across boundaries by force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploiting them economically. If the victim is under the age of 18, there is no requirement to show force, fraud or coercion .1

-Today, 27 million people are enslaved, more than at the height of the transatlantic slave trade.2


-Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately $31.6 billion each year. Specifically, trafficking for sexual exploitation generates $27.8 billion per year.3


-The overwhelming majority of those involved in the sex trade are children, teens, and adults who entered the trade before they turned 18. UNICEF estimates that 1 million children worldwide are exploited every year in the commercial sex trade, which includes prostitution and pornography.4


-79% of women in prostitution in one study in the US gave an indication that they were in prostitution due to some degree of force such as kidnapping or violence from a pimp.5


-Traffickers are often violent individuals who use force, fraud or coercion to enslave their victims. The grooming process for victims often includes rape, physical abuse, starvation, confinement, beatings,   forced drug use, and threats to both the victim and the victim’s family. One study of women in the sex trade found that 78% of them were raped an average of 16 times a year by their pimps. 6


-Legalizing prostitution usually results in an increase in demand. To meet the increased demand, pimps and traffickers force and coerce more women and girls into prostitution. Reports from countries that have legalized prostitution, such as the Netherlands and Ger­many, have shown dramatic increases in the number of sex trafficking victims, especially child victims, into those countries, 7

-People in prostitution face a "workplace" homicide rate 51 times higher than the next most dangerous job for women (working in a liquor store).8


-In a study of 475 people in prostitution (including women, men, and the transgendered) from five countries (South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and Zambia) 62% reported having been raped in prostitution. 73% reported having experienced physical assault in prostitution. 72% were currently or formerly homeless. 92% stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately.9


11 Things you can do NOW to end the demand for trafficking:


1- Do not participate in any form of commercial sexual exploitation and encourage others to do the same.


2- Learn the facts about trafficking. Visit,,, For a reading list visit


3- Discuss the facts about trafficking with people you know or meet. Be vigilant about refocusing conversations about prostitution away from blaming the woman to holding the people purchasing sex accountable for their actions.


4- Challenge people in your friendship circle to stop patronizing sex trade venues. Highlight how practices that have become socially acceptable, such as hiring women to strip at bachelor parties or going to strip clubs, can be harmful and serve to normalize the exploitive aspects of the sex trade and increase demand for trafficking.


5- Stay informed. Sign up to receive news updates from The Polaris Project on human trafficking in the United States. Visit and click on “Sign Up.”


6- Support survivors. Send a care package or make a financial donation to help restore survivors of commercial sexual exploitation in the US through Dawn’s Place in Philadelphia or Girls Educational and Mentoring Services in New York. To support survivors in Europe send donations to the A21 Campaign


7- Report information. If you have information about a potential trafficking situation, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-3737-888.


8- Hang an anti-trafficking poster at your church, community center, or place of business. Free posters can be ordered through the US Department of Health at


9- Support legislation that enforces the prosecution of traffickers and pimps and supports victims.

Visit, search for Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and add your name to the petition. Write to your local Senator and ask him/her to support the TVPA reauthorization.


10- Pray for the end of trafficking and the restoration of survivors.


11- Make a handmade doll and donate it to the Ragdoll Project! 

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1 Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, H.R. 3244, 106th Cong., 2nd Sess. (2000).

2 "International Labor Standards: Quality of Information and Measures of Progress in Combating Forced Labor," Kevin Bales (n.d), and "Slavery is not dead, just less recognizable," by Susan Llewelyn Leach, Christian Science Monitor, September 1, 2004.

3 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2009, Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns.

4 UNICEF (2006). Convention on the rights of the child: Optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Retrieved May 10, 2010.

5 Hughes, D.M. (Spring 2003). Demand: The driving force of sex trafficking. Coalition Commentary. Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

6 Hunter, S.K. (1991). Council for Prostitution Alternatives annual report. Quoted in Farley, M. (2000).

7 Shared Hope International (July 2007). DEMAND: A comparative examination of sex tourism and trafficking in Jamaica, Japan, The Netherlands, and the United States.

8 Potterat, J.J., Brewer, D.D., Muth, S.Q., Rothenburg, R.B., Woodhouse, D.E., Muth, J.B., Stites, H.K., and Brody, S. (2004). Mortality in a long-term open cohort of prostitute women. American Journal of Epidemiology, 159(8), 778–85 (homicide rate of 204 per 100,000 for women in prostitution). Compare to Castillo, D.R., and Jenkins, E.L. (1994). Industries and occupations at high risk for work-related homicide. Journal of Occupational Medicine, 36(2), 125-32.

9 (Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk Sezgin, "Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (1998) Feminism & Psychology 8 (4): 405-426.Post your text here.