This is the month where there is raised awareness to some of the issues related to human trafficking. Here are some of the comments and statistics related to human trafficking from the Polaris website.
Although slavery is commonly thought to be a thing of the past, human traffickers generate hundreds of billions of dollars in profits by trapping millions of people in horrific situations around the world, including here in the U.S. Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will. While more research is needed on the scope of human trafficking, below are a few key statistics:
- The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally.
- 81% of them are trapped in forced labor
- 25% of them are children
- 75% are women and girls
- The International Labor Organization estimates that forced labor and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide.
- The U.S. Department of Labor has identified 148 goods from 75 countries made by forced and child labor.
- In 2017, an estimated 1 out of 7 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims.
- Of those, 88% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran
- There is no official estimate of the total number of human trafficking victims in the U.S. Polaris estimates that the total number of victims nationally reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated.
The victimization of individuals who have been involved in these atrocities is devastating. Thousands of children and adults have been traumatized by what has happened to them while being trafficked. There are several initiatives that are attempting to mitigate and end these tragedies. The Department of Homeland Security sponsors one of those initiatives called the Blue Campaign. Here is the website describing this national initiatives.
It is hard to believe that human trafficking is so active in our own country. It is certainly a source of trauma and destruction to individuals, families and our communities. It is a worthy issue to be aware of and to attempt to prevent if we see any evidence of human trafficking in our own community.