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Human Trafficking

Every day, everywhere, men, women, and children are victims of modern day slavery. 

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What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking can take many forms and takes place in many different sectors, settings, and contexts. It occurs when an individual is coerced, forced, manipulated, or defrauded into performing labor. This exploitative practice may involve nontraditional forms of labor. At times, it can be insidious and difficult to detect.

Who is affected?

Human trafficking happens in all corners of the world and affects individual across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic categories. 

Human trafficking happens here. In 2021 alone, there were over 10,000 cases in the United States and nearly 14,000 hotline calls from survivors. The United Department of Health and Human Services estimates that there are between 240,000 to 325,000 human trafficking victims in America today.    

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What are the warning signs?

Warning signs include (but are not limited to):

  • Unsafe working conditions

  • Appear fearful or hesitant to discuss work

  • Signs of physical abuse 

  • Signs of weight loss or sleep deprivation 

  • Living with or overdependence on employer 

  • Lack of employer-employee boundaries 

  • Feeling pressure to remain in the same job or situation

  • Employers withholding employee's personal documents (such as visas, passports, or other important documents)

Types of Trafficking

The most common types of trafficking include sexual exploitation, forced labor, and debt bondage. 


Sexual exploitation, also known as sex trafficking, involves commercial sex acts performed under the influence of coercion, manipulation, threats, or force. Any minor involved in commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking. 

Forced labor is the most common form of trafficking globally. It affects workers in various different sectors, from agricultural to hospitality to illicit organizations. 

Debt bondage occurs when traffickers target and manipulate an individual to provide labor to "pay off" a debt. This debt may be inherited or fraudulent and used as a mechanism of control. 

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