What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is an umbrella term that includes both labor and sex trafficking.

The Facts of Human Trafficking

It is a form of modern-day slavery that happens around the world. According to the International Labor Organization, labor trafficking is more prevalent but sex trafficking is much more lucrative.

Human trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion a year business. Of that, $99 billion comes from sexual exploitation while $51 billion of the profits come from labor trafficking.

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Victims of Human Trafficking

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Sexually Exploited

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Exploited for Labor

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Exploited in State-Imposed Forced Labor

Where Can Human Trafficking Be Found?

Human trafficking can be found in a variety of locations. For sex trafficking, one can find it in brothels, on the internet, in illicit massage parlors, motels, private homes, escort agencies, adult establishments, and on the streets. Labor trafficking can be found in sweatshops, agriculture, manufacturing, restaurants, construction, hotels, domestic work, and health and beauty services.

Sex Trafficking vs. Labor Trafficking

What is Sex Trafficking?

U.S. law defines sex trafficking as an individual over the age of 18 induced into a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, or an individual under the age of 18 induced into a commercial act regardless of the presence of force, fraud, or coercion.

Commerical sex includes any sexual performance, pornography, or prostitution.

What is Labor Trafficking?

Labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or slavery.

Trafficking vs. Smuggling

It’s important to recognize that human trafficking and human smuggling are two different crimes.



Human trafficking involves exploiting men, women, and/or children for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.


Human smuggling involves the provision of a service–typically transportation or fraudulent documents– to an individual who voluntarily seeks to gain illegal entry into a foreign a country.



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