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7 Surprising Facts About Human Trafficking

Posted January 11, 2016

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness DayIn support of this day, The Moyo Team wants to offer facts about human trafficking that surprised us when we were researching this issue. You can support Human Trafficking Awareness Day by using #humantrafficking on social media. Here are the facts:


1. One of the biggest issues for victims of trafficking is reintegration and reuniting with family. After being trafficked, victims tend to hide their experiences to avoid shame, further abuse, blame, stigmas, or even rejection. (Source: Brunovskis, A., and R. Surtees. "Coming Home: Challenges in Family Reintegration for Trafficked Women." Qualitative Social Work 12.4 (2013): 454-472.)

2. It is widely reported that the Super Bowl causes high levels of sex trafficking in the U.S., but many sex trafficking advocacy groups, like the Polaris Project, are arguing against these reports based on lack of empirical evidence and the fact that it detracts from awareness of the widespread problem of sex trafficking in the U.S. throughout the year. Check out this report for more in depth analysis on sex trafficking and the Super Bowl.

3. Corruption is a common theme when it comes to human trafficking. This corruption can involve police officers, border control authorities, customs officials, and immigration services either participating in, tolerating, or ignoring this organized crime.

4. Disasters place vulnerable people at a greater risk of human trafficking. 

5. People that have been brought out of their native country illegally are often threatened by their traffickers with arrest or deportation because of their status as “illegal.” The requirements for a victim to remain in the U.S. after rescue are overwhelming. For a person to escape trafficking through the legal system, they would have to flee slavery, seek help from the legal system, navigate a complex foreign bureaucratic system without getting arrested/deported, and in the end possibly have freedom wrapped in poverty. 

6. Human trafficking, slavery, is a crime, so it is hard to get honest statistics on how many people are involved. The UNODC's Global Report on Trafficking in Persons claims sexual exploitation was by far the most commonly identified form of human trafficking (79%) followed by forced labor (18%).  The U.S. State Department quoted the International Labor Organization claiming that of the estimated 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, 68 percent are victims of forced labor and 22 percent are victims of forced sexual exploitation.

7. Many people view human trafficking as a problem that exists outside the U.S., but the fact is that human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states