Human Trafficking Facts & Indicators
“The victims of modern slavery have many faces. They are men and women, adults and children. Yet, all are denied basic human dignity and freedom ...
all too often suffering from horrible physical and sexual abuse, it is hard for them to imagine that there might be a place of refuge.”
— US President Barack Obama, Jan. 4, 2010
- On June 1, 2012, the International Labor Organization (ILO) released its second global estimate of forced labor, (the equivalent of the U.S. Government’s umbrella term for trafficking in persons). Using improved methodology and greater sources of data, this report estimates that modern slavery around the world claims 20.9 million victims at any time.
- The ILO’s first estimate of forced labor, in 2005, was 12.3 million victims of forced labor and sex trafficking. Unlike the 2005 estimate, this new finding does not disaggregate human trafficking victims as a subset of the global forced labor estimate. This recognizes that human trafficking is defined by exploitation not by movement.
- 55 percent of forced labor victims are women and girls and 98 percent of sex trafficking victims are women and girls.
- The Asia and the Pacific region (which includes South Asia) remains largest in terms of number of victims, though the estimate of trafficking victims in Africa has grown since the 2005 estimate.
- In the last several years the global financial crisis has raised the specter of increased human trafficking around the world.
- After drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today,
and it is the fastest growing.
U.S. Department of State Annual Trafficking
in Persons Reports
For a comprehensive list of the signs and indicators of human trafficking, see Human Trafficking Indicators (PDF)
If you have come in contact with someone you think may be a trafficking victim, please contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-3737-888.