9 Things You Should Know About Human Trafficking

Human trafficking has been identified as the largest human rights violation in the history of mankind. Here are nine things you should know about modern-day slavery.

1. Modern-day slavery, also referred to as “trafficking in persons,” or “human trafficking,” describes the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.

2. There are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In fact, there are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 21 million in bondage across the globe.

3. For most of human history slaves were expensive, the average cost being around the equivalent of $40,000. Today, the average slave costs around $90. A 2003 study in the Netherlands found that, on average, a single sex slave earned her pimp at least $250,000 a year.

4. Trafficking in persons is estimated to be one of the top-grossing criminal industries in the world (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking), with traffickers profiting an estimated $32 billion every year.

5. According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, it is more profitable for a trafficker to prostitute a child than to commit other crimes such as dealing in drugs. “For one, the commodity (child) is reusable. In addition, technological innovation has allowed traffickers to reach a wider client base and connect more quickly with buyers.”

6. Human trafficking disproportionately affects communities of color. Including here in the United States, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that over 77 percent of trafficking victims in the United States are people of color. According to a report by the FBI, confirmed sex trafficking victims were more likely to be white (26%) or black (40%), compared to labor trafficking victims, who were more likely to be Hispanic (63%) or Asian (17%). Four-fifths of victims in confirmed sex trafficking incidents were identified as U.S. citizens (83%), while most confirmed labor trafficking victims were identified as undocumented aliens (67%) or qualified aliens (28%).

7. Nearly half of all incidents investigated by U.S. law enforcement agencies between January 1, 2008, and June 30, 2010, involved allegations of adult prostitution (48%). Forty percent involved prostitution of a child or child sexual exploitation. Fourteen percent of cases contained allegations of labor trafficking.

8. Traffic of children in Asia assumes a more significant proportion of overall trafficking than in other regions of the world. Younger children are found in the sex industry as customers seek to avoid AIDS, and much Asian sex tourism features children and minors of both sexes. In India, children are maimed to be more effective beggars. In China, babies are trafficked for adoptions abroad, with boys commanding more than girls. In Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and the Philippines, children are trafficked as child soldiers.

9. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. According to Shared Hope International, children exploited through prostitution report they typically are given a quota by their trafficker/pimp of 10 to 15 buyers per night, though some service providers report girls having been sold to as many as 45 buyers in a night at peak demand times, such as during a sports event or convention. Utilizing a conservative estimate, a domestic minor sex trafficking victim who is rented for sex acts with five different men per night, for five nights per week, for an average of five years, would be raped by 6,000 buyers during the course of her victimization through prostitution.


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9 Things You Should Know About Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence

9 Things You Should Know About the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Cases

9 Things You Should Know About the Bible

9 Things You Should Know About Fathers and Father’s Day 

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9 Things You Should Know About Human Cloning

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9 Things You Should Know About Planned Parenthood

9 Things You Should Know About the Boston Marathon Bombing

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9 Things You Should Know About Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • http://outin2thedeep.wordpress.com Wesley

    This is probably one of the social/Fall of mankind issues closest to my heart. I can hardly read these stats without tears coming to my eyes and anger rising in my heart. It is surely some of that groaning for the redemption of the world Romans speaks of. Kyrie eleison. Maranatha.

    • Thomas

      Wesley, I support a Christian ministry that rescue little girls from sex trafficking. You can sponsor one of these rescued girl as well.

      Check out the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq3C18WzOCw to see the innocent faces of some of the children who used to be chained and raped everyday for profit.

      The ministry http://www.crisisrescueinternational.com had been recommended to my wife by Mark Cahill, the well-known Christian evangelist. Mark knows the head of the ministry (David Farmer) well, and told us how David and his staff make sure that the rescued girls are evangelized and cared for spiritually as well. I strongly urge you and all readers to sponsor one of these girls and be part of the solution.

      • https://www.facebook.com/JohnStuartistry John Stuart

        Thank you for sharing this important work!

  • Johnny Appleton

    Very sad, very tragic. Evangelical Christianity needs to remain vigorously vocal about this matter. I wonder: if there were more international adoptions fro Asia-Pacific countries if that would do something to help offset any of these numbers?

    • Thomas

      Johnny, adopting these girls is extremely expensive and few Christians have the resource to do so. But virtually all Christians have the resource to financially support ministries that rescue these girls. I recommend http://www.crisisrescueinternational.com You can watch the video of some of the little girls that the Christian ministry has rescued from trafficking at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq3C18WzOCw

      My wife and I are disgusted by the trafficking of children (and adults too) and by the grace of God we have been directed to this ministry so we can do our part to rescue little girls from a hellish life of being raped 9000 times in five years like the article says.

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  • Mark

    Absolutely horrified by the facts and stats. We definitely need to be prayerful about justice in this area and how we can ask for God’s help in making difference in rescue…

  • J.J.

    Really appreciate you posting thees statistics which are so disturbing. I try to talk about this in my NT Survey courses when we come upon the issue of slavery in Philemon, Ephesians, & Colossians so students realize slavery wasn’t just an issue in the Roman Empire or the 18th & 19th centuries. It’s worse today. God bless the ones who are working so diligently to expose this issue and to bring freedom to the enslaved and justice to the perpetrators.

    • J.J.

      *incarceration to the perpetrators.

  • Stacey Rawlings

    According to several articles I have read on this subject, Americans are the largest consumers, worldwide, of human trafficking, often taking sex vacations around the world to easily get what may be more difficult to get here in this country. I have two little boys (and one grown one), ages 7 and 9 and the though of someone doing something so vile and evil to another child their age makes me physically ill and burn with rage.

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  • Thomas

    Please pray about sponsoring one of these sweet little girls and impact a life for the glory of God.

    Over 100 trafficked little girls who have been rescued from a life of being chained and raped daily for profit are still in need of Christians like you and me to care about them enough to sponsor them at http://www.crisisrescueinternational.com

    Check out the 2-minute video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq3C18WzOCw to see the innocent faces of some of the children who have been rescued from sex trafficking in India.

    I wrote to the head of the ministry, David Farmer, to make sure it was a bona fide Christian ministry that evangelized and discipled the girls along with rescuing them, and this is what David Farmer replied:

    Thank you for you interest in Crisis Rescue International. In response to your questions we are very intentional about the Gospel.

    Our staff and team of nationals are Pastors or lay leaders in the church. We began our ministry with evangelism and church planting in India. The Lord dropped us into the trafficking area and birthed the arm of reaching, rescuing and redeeming these precious children. I would not even consider being a part of this without the main focus be the souls of these children.

    Our assistant Director is a graduate from Luther Rice Seminary and myself from Southern Evangelical. Our children are taught bible Dailey, church is an active part of their lives. We have had many of our children saved and growing in their faith.

    This past trip saw The Lord calling many to a move toward serving in missions. Our team of American missionaries who serve full time in India are passionate about the growth spiritually of each child.

    If you desire to make a gift to our efforts it will be greatly appreciated and used to meet the needs of these children. We have no paid staff and all gifts are tax deductible and go to the ministry. Please feel free to contact me call me anytime if you have any other questions.
    God bless you

    Until all have heard
    Faithfully serving

  • http://www.searchandtrace.net/ Stan

    Thank you for the article Joe. Now that you have raised the awareness of this human atrocity, please will you and your fellow “Bloggers” at The Gospel Coalition do some further research and let all of us know what organizations you would recommend for us to support that are fighting against this pestilence and working to support the victims of such dastardly deeds.
    Thank you Thomas for your recommendations.

  • dan brown

    Its too dark! long for the day when God will put it all right!

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  • Sarey Martin McIvor

    It’s great to be equipped with information about issues, but can we start a “9 Things You Can Do to Help…” series?

  • Catherine Nagy

    Assuming they survive what happens to these victims later in life? Has there been any research regarding the adulthoold of children sold for sex?

  • Andy

    There needs to be a place for women rescued and transformed, but the real battle is with demand or men. Men need to see value in everyone including themselves and change their hearts and minds. This is kinda of a plug, but I’ve been in a small group with this organization MATTOO. To end this, we need to change the demand, men. Check it out. http://mattoo.org/ Also IJM and Freeset are some other organizations freeing women.

    Be telling more people about this issue, this needs to stop!

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  • Alien & Stranger

    An Anti Human Trafficking Law has just been passed in South Africa. The ACDP (African Christian Democratic Party) has pushed for this legislation: http://www.acdp.org.za/acdp-applauds-those-who-worked-on-the-human-trafficking-bill/

  • Daniel Tomlinson

    Appreciate the information on the terrible human rights issue that is sex trafficking/slavery. However, I believe it is erroneous to identify it as “the largest human rights violation in the history of mankind.” It certainly is a terrible human rights violation but compared to the horror that is worldwide abortion it does not even come close. There are an estimated 40 million abortion worldwide and much of the rise sex trafficking in Asia and elsewhere can be traced to the rise in sex-selective abortions. Violating a 12 year old is incredibly horrific. Murdering a 12 week old…

    When ranking human rights violations murdering preborn boys and girls wins hands down. It is a bloodbath, the likes of which have never, ever been matched in the history of mankind.

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  • Marie Smith

    It is horrible to know that women and children are sold into sex trafficking to make money. I learned about sex trafficking by watching the documentary called Nefarious. In this documentary it talks about how children are sold because the families can’t afford them. They are also told that if they go that they will be given jobs and the money would be sent back to their families and soon the women and/or children learn that it was a lie. It also talks about the red light district. It shows women and young girls in windows so that men can window shop and choose the girl he wants. It’s horrible to know that kind of thing happens in our world today. I think a lot of people assume that it only happens outside of the country but it happens right here in the country. If you have the time check out the Nefarious documentary.

  • Marie Smith

    I have been doing a little bit more research on sex trafficking. I was reading this article about a women who was in sex trafficking. In this article she shares her story on how she was deceived in to leaving with a young guy that she thought she loved. She was only 9 years old at the time and she thought she loved this guy who was 10 years older then her. She didn’t think her parents understood her so the left with him and then she finally realized what was going on. She was put in a house with 3 other girls and was told to go on the streets to make money and if she didn’t come back with the quota of the night he would beat her. The terrible thing is about this woman’s story is that it happened right here in the states not outside the country. I think a lot of people want to believe that it happens outside the states but it happens right here in front of us we just don’t realize it. Here is the link to the article: http://www.womensfundingnetwork.org/resource/past-articles/enslaved-in-america-sex-trafficking-in-the-united-states

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  • Marie Smith

    World vision is an amazing organization. If you haven’t heard of them I would encourage you to check into it. World vision has helped 385 survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse receive restorative care in Cambodia, 10,592 child labors enrolled in school, and 75,000 people reached with anti-trafficking messages in Bangladesh. On the World Vision website there is a story about a young girl name “T”. Her story is about the temptation she face and how she was transformed and started a new life. “T” wasn’t sold into sex trafficking, she fell into it through temptation of drug (meth) that her friends gave her. “T” went to school, until her parents separated and they could no longer afford it. She lived with her mother and they had no money. “T” fell into prostitution and was seeing at least 5 men a day. World Vision helped to recover from this life and helped her start a new chapter in her life, where she decided to open her own shop and be a hair dresser. Here is the link
    I encourage you to read her story!

  • Marie Smith

    Is human trafficking getting worse or better? An article that I found on the Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty was posted September 12, 2012 says that the awareness is increasing, but the problem is still there. This is so true! If you typed “human sex trafficking into the Google search engine you will get several organizations or websites that talk about how to prevent sex trafficking or stop human sex trafficking. Know that I am not saying that the awareness is bad, it’s the total opposite! Its amazing that we have so many people helping and trying to stop this terrible phenomenon that is happening. I am still learning about this phenomenon that keeps happening. Is there a way to completely stop it? Or do we need more awareness out there? In that article it also says that there are men, women and children every day that are being stripped of there basic rights and being forced into trafficking sex work, labor work, involuntary servants or for there organs. It’s terrible!! Why do human beings to this to other human beings!!? Here is the link to that article that I read http://www.rferl.org/content/interview-giammarinaro-osce-human-trafficking/24709444.html

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  • EJ

    Let’s remember that this isn’t just a “women’s/girl’s” issue. I’m seeing this fallacy in many of the comments. 45% of those trafficked are male, while 55% are female.

    And while the majority of forced sex victims are female and the majority of forced labor victims are male, neither “forced sex” nor “forced labor” are only female or male issues, either.

    Sure, forced sex trafficking gets better media than forced labor trafficking, and it tugs at the heart strings more, but both are abominable forms of slavery.

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