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U.S. law defines human trafficking as using force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person into commercial sex acts or labor against their will. 

Human trafficking is a global problem. It is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. It is an international crime and hurts people from every part of the world, including our own.

 61% of the identified trafficking victims in the United States were recruited by someone they knew - such as  a family member, caregiver, or an intimate partner

 The internet remains the #1 reported recruitment location, followed by street recruitment

54% of the victims reported recent migration or relocation as a risk factor or vulnerability

77% of the victims reported emotional abuse, economic abuse, and threats as the methods of force, fraud, and coercion

In 2021, friends and family were the access point for help for 43% of victims with an identified access point 


Yes, but...

Even though anyone can be a victim of a crime, research has shown that those with particular risk factors or vulnerabilities are at a much higher risk of being trafficked. These vulnerabilities can include living in poverty, being in foster care, or battling addiction, trauma, abuse, or an insecure housing or food situation, among other things. People who have been subjected to discrimination in the past, such as persons of color, indigenous groups, immigrant communities, and people who identify as LGBTQ+, make up a disproportionately high percentage of crime victims. Recruiters and traffickers are aware of these elements and exploit them in precise and targeted ways.




Trafficking always involves violence

Most human trafficking involves psychological methods such as tricking, defrauding, and manipulating victims into providing commercial sex or labor.


Only women and girls get trafficked

Sex traffickers also victimize men and boys. LGBTQ boys and young men are seen as particularly vulnerable to trafficking.


Human trafficking involves transporting people

The crime of human trafficking does not require any movement whatsoever. Survivors can be recruited and trafficked in their own home towns or homes.


All commercial sex is human trafficking

Commercial sex involving an adult is human trafficking if the person providing commercial sex is doing so against his or her will due to force, fraud, or coercion. However, because sex work and sex trafficking are closely related, Hope Center considers women exiting the sex industry as potential residents.



The problem of human trafficking is complex, but a basic understanding of the crime can help you make an impact on your community. With our free training program, you'll learn about domestic sex trafficking and how you can be part of the solution.


Every person has the right to hope.
Support futures free from exploitation.

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