Human Trafficking: Global Statistics, Affect on the United States, Ways to Stop

Introduction: People’s representation of human trafficking

Many people have a Hollywood image of what a human trafficking victim would look like. The vast majority of victims will not be kidnapped, drugged, or shackled. Cell phones are used by many of the victims. They are permitted to take days off to go shopping, to church, or to other destinations. Most people are surprised to learn that many human traffickers are women. As a result, female traffickers frequently go unnoticed. That is why it is so important for the general population to be educated and not to make assumptions about what a victim or trafficker will look like.

Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or reception of persons for the purpose of profit by force, fraud, or deceit. This crime, which occurs in every corner of the world, can affect men, women, and children of all ages and backgrounds. To fool and coerce their victims, traffickers frequently utilize violence, phony employment agencies, and false promises of education and work possibilities. Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which victims are forced, deceived, or pressured into work or sexual exploitation.

People who are marginalized or in terrible situations are targeted by traffickers. Undocumented migrants and persons in severe need of work are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking and forced labor. After traffickers employ violence, deception, or extortion, victims may be coerced or persuaded into an exploitative arrangement that defines trafficking. Criminals who traffic children prey on youngsters from low-income families, dysfunctional families, or those who have been abandoned and have no parental care. Child labor trafficking may occur in a range of businesses in the United States, particularly in the informal sector. Domestic slavery, construction, janitorial or cleaning services, door-to-door magazine sales, agricultural, health and beauty services, begging or peddling, and hotel and restaurant enterprises are some of the more typical job areas in which minors are exploited.

What is the global impact of human trafficking?

Human trafficking is a multi-faceted danger that violates people’s human rights and freedoms, poses a worldwide health issue, and feeds the expansion of organized crime. Individual victims of human trafficking are frequently subjected to physical and mental torture, rape, threats against self and family, passport theft, and even death. Human trafficking, on the other hand, has an impact that extends beyond individual victims; it jeopardizes the safety and security of all countries involved.

Global statistics

Early talks concerning human trafficking centered almost entirely on sex trafficking of women and girls, with a strong emphasis on law enforcement interventions. Human trafficking, on the other hand, is increasingly recognized as occurring in a wide range of low-wage or no-wage hazardous jobs. Indeed, the current combination of mobility and low-wage work creates a plethora of options for labor exploitation. Domestic slavery, agricultural and plantation work, commercial fishing, textiles, industrial labor, construction, mining, and forced sex work, as well as bride trafficking and petty criminality, are all common uses for men, women, and children.

Extensive hours, little pay, exorbitant debt, physical confinement, major work risks, assault, and threats are all examples of the exploitation that lies at the heart of human trafficking. These types of abuse come in a variety of shapes and intensity levels. Furthermore, the impact of exploitation on a person who has been trafficked health and well-being is determined by the mix of types and intensity of the actions to which she or he has been subjected.

The number of victims and survivors who contacted the Trafficking Hotline
The number of victims and survivors who contacted the Trafficking Hotline.

According to Polaris website, In 2019, in the US, the number of victims and survivors who contacted the Trafficking Hotline directly about their situations increased by about 20%. Hearing directly from the individual who has been harmed provides the finest information and avenues for providing effective assistance, whether it’s locating a secure place to stay the night, contacting an attorney, a trauma counselor, arranging transportation, or contacting police.

Human trafficking affect on the United States

According to Polaris website, The data from the 22,326 survivor profiles provides insight into the processes and techniques used by human traffickers. Traffickers prey on people’s weaknesses all the time, and the data reveals variables that may have put these people at risk—as well as the many strategies used to recruit and retain them in a trafficking position.

This image shows the outbreaks of human trafficking that were recorded in 2019. It can be seen that the east and west coasts are most affected. However, a large number of outbreaks indicates that the east coast suffers from human trafficking the most.



Demography shows three main points of defining a person who has been attempted. As you can see, in most cases, the age and nationality are unknown, but we can say for sure that the female gender prevails in the statistics. The smallest number of recorded cases were related to sexual minorities and adults.

Human trafficking and exploitation

There are important disparities between different forms of labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and conflict-related trafficking, for example. Business strategies that rely on convoluted supply chains, a plethora of labor middlemen, and a strong demand for inexpensive and disposable labor, for example, support exploitative practices in many low-wage manufacturing sectors.

Evidence on the drivers of exploitation and variables that encourage safe migration and good employment is critically needed to avoid the exploitation of aspiring labor migrants. Furthermore, theoretical or policy frameworks must consider how individual, group, and structural elements, such as economic, social, legal, and policy-related features, influence exploitation and health throughout a migratory trajectory.

This figure illustrates aspects related to labor exploitation in the context of a migration process, exploitation dimensions, and numerous damage dimensions. While structurally driven social, economic, and gendered power inequalities underlying all kinds of exploitation, they typically emerge differently amongst them.

It’s no coincidence that worker exploitation has happened in tandem with trade union influence and density dwindling, as well as dwindling freedom of association and collective bargaining. These interactions are compounded by poor labor governance, which fails to safeguard employees from manufacturing processes powered by low-cost goods and services, despite international commitments to do so.

The graphic shows a process of complicated, cumulative causation of possible injury over the course of a migration cycle. It emphasizes the connections between macrolevel structural elements (e.g., global, national, social, and other systems and institutions) that impact the persistence of human trafficking and damage in communities. This approach also recognises the importance of inequities such as age, gender, country, ethnicity, and class in each individual’s vulnerability to exploitation, albeit this is not explicitly stated.

In many cases, labor middlemen and migrant networks play an important part in the recruiting process. Some labor recruiters may help people find suitable jobs, while others may encourage exploitation. Extortion, deceit, and coercion have all been used by unscrupulous middlemen to exploit workers or steer them into abusive employers. People can be recruited into trafficking scenarios numerous times during a single travel, which is noteworthy. A network of connected or independent, official or informal, trustworthy or untrustworthy agents can be used as labor intermediates.

Are there many traffickers caught and convicted?

Despite the fact that most nations have extensive human trafficking law in place for some years, the frequency of convictions has only lately begun to rise. The rise in the number of convictions is about in line with the rise in the number of detected and reported victims, indicating that the criminal justice system is responding in lockstep with the detection trend. However, certain localities continue to have an extremely low frequency of trafficking convictions while also detecting fewer victims. The fact that there are few victims and convictions does not indicate that human traffickers are not operating in these nations. Victims of human trafficking from areas where identification and conviction rates are poor are discovered in high numbers in other areas.

Human trafficking as a health problem

Human trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation is a huge global public health issue that breaches basic human rights. Infections, injuries, posttraumatic stress disorder, suicidality, and a number of other physical or mental health issues may be encountered by pediatricians and other health care workers. Anticipating human trafficking, recognizing victimization, and mediating fittingly requires an open well-being approach that incorporates thorough inquiry about the chance variables, well-being results, viable treatment alternatives for misuse, and the execution and assessment of essential anticipation programs.

Professionals in the health-care field need to be trained to see indicators of exploitation and respond accordingly. They must use a multidisciplinary, outward-focused approach to service delivery, collaborating with nonmedical community members to help victims. Pediatricians must also campaign for laws and policies that support human rights and victim services, as well as those that address the socioeconomic determinants of health, which have an impact on human trafficking vulnerability.

How can people stop human trafficking?

  1. The problem will not be solved unless everyone is aware that it exists in the first place. The first step toward stopping human trafficking of men, women, and children is to raise awareness of the problem on a local, regional, and national level.
  2. Several anti-trafficking groups operate on a budget. Raising funds for them will go a long way toward assisting them in their mission to aid others. Fundraising might range from hosting an internet fundraising campaign to visiting with members of your local community to provide information and solicit money.
  3. Many anti-human-trafficking organizations simply do not have the funding to operate. To make an impact, they rely largely on volunteers.
  4. Health care workers must learn to recognize the signs of human trafficking and how to help victims. Extend low-cost or free services to human trafficking victims with the help of anti-trafficking groups.
  5. The more stringent the regulation, the more difficult it is for traffickers to exploit loopholes and escape punishment if detected.
  6. When you see someone in a human trafficking situation, you may instinctively cry for aid; however, what if that person is someone you know? While reporting is still required, the emotions that surround it might be difficult to manage. One of the reasons why organizations enable anonymous reporting is because of this.

New ideas to stop human trafficking

Businesses should provide survivors of human trafficking jobs, internships, skill training, and other possibilities.

Students should join or form a university group to raise awareness about human trafficking and take action in their communities. They should think about writing one of the study papers about human trafficking. They should also push for the inclusion of human trafficking in academic curricula.

The media has a huge influence on how people think about human trafficking and how they talk about it. Here are some media best practices for covering human trafficking topics effectively and responsibly.

Attorneys should provide legal assistance to victims of human trafficking, including assistance in obtaining benefits or special visas. Attorneys who represent victims of human trafficking have access to resources.


To summarize, it is safe to say that human trafficking is a modern problem that receives little attention. This problem can affect everyone: parents who worry about their children, elderly people who cannot give proper resistance to criminals and children who naively believe all things due to inexperience. The problem should be considered more globally and from all sides, from medical and social. There are methods and ways to reduce the incidence of human trafficking, but people need to understand the issue in more detail.


  1. Polaris. (2020). 2019 U.S. national human trafficking hotline statistics. Polarisproject. Web.
  2. UN. (2020). The crime. Unodc. Web.
  3. UN. (2020). Human trafficking. Unodc. Web.
  4. USC. (2018). 7 facts you didn’t know about human trafficking. Web.
  5. U.S. Department of State. (2017). 15 ways you can help fight human trafficking. Web.
  6. UN. (2020). Prevention, prosection and protection – human trafficking. Web.
  7. Zimmerman C, Kiss L (2017) Human trafficking and exploitation: A global health concern. PLoS Med 14(11): e1002437. Web.
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