Human Trafficking defined: The trade of human beings through force, fraud, and/or coercion for the purpose of exploitation for labor, sexual purposes, or organs.
A human trafficker is anyone helping in any part of the process of trafficking: recruitment, transportation, harboring, exploitation. Both females and males have been convicted for their involvement as traffickers nationally and internationally.
Trafficked persons in the United States can be men or women, adults or children, foreign nationals or US citizens. Some are well-educated, while others have no formal education. Average age range of entry is 11-14 years old (boys and girls). However, people can become victims at any age, as infants and adults.
Note: Any situation where one is forced, tricked, or coerced into doing a commercial sexual act such as stripping, pornography or explicit photos also falls under the definition of sex trafficking.
Currently listed as the second largest, fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, human trafficking cases have been reported in every state in the United States. Assessing the prevalence of any illicit crime is incredibly difficult, especially for a hidden crime like slavery. In 2014, the International Labour Organization (ILO) reported that human trafficking generates $150 billion in illicit profits. Experts also estimate there are between 21 million people (ILO) and 35.8 million people (2014 Global Slavery Index, Walk Free Foundation) held in slavery today; these estimates indicate there are more slaves today than at any other time during recorded history, including during the trans-atlantic slave trade.
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