What Is Human Trafficking
As defined by the United Nations, human trafficking is "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs."
This definition focuses on the three elements that comprise trafficking:
This research guide was created to raise awareness of human trafficking, provide information to communities, and support research at all levels.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline:
Human Trafficking Statistics*
A total of 8,524 human trafficking cases were reported in 2017
Top 5 states where human trafficking was reported in 2017
*The data do not represent the full scope of human trafficking. A lack of awareness of the crime, knowledge of reporting hotlines, or apprehension from victims and survivors can lead to significant underreporting.