- The FBI identified the Twin Cities as one of the 13 US cities with particularly high rate of child prostitution.
- Minnesota is ranked as the 4th fastest growing sex trafficking market in the US; this may be due in part to an increase in reporting and investigating.
- An estimated 8,000 – 14,000 victims are trafficked for sex annually.
- Sex trafficking occurs in all regions in the state: 36% of victims rescued are being served in the Twin Cities; 64% are being served in greater Minnesota. A 2015 report showed that 75% of all victims served were girls under 18.
- 14-20% of homeless youth have been sexually exploited for food, shelter, money, etc. — i.e., ‘survival sex’. 19% of homeless LGBTQ youth in Minneapolis have been exploited for ‘survival sex’.
- Studies show that Native American women and girls experience greater risk factors for being trafficked than other racial and ethnic groups in the state.
- Most victims are recruited online. A recent study found over 34,000 online ads for sex in the Twin Cities alone.
- 60% of law enforcement agencies in a 2016 state-wide survey had worked a sex trafficking case. Only 2% involved international victims.
- Labor trafficking in the state typically involves domestic work, construction, health & beauty services, agriculture, or traveling sales crews. Though labor trafficking prosecutions are rare in MN, reports show that escalating competition among subcontractors in the construction industry has precipitated a steady regression in labor conditions in the Twin Cities.
WHAT MINNESOTA IS DOING
- Minnesota has been a leader in its efforts to address sex trafficking and was one of the first states to pass Safe Harbor laws, which recognize that youth under 18 who are exploited for sex are victims, not criminals, and cannot be prosecuted. The law also provides Safe Harbor support services and safe housing for all victims under 25.
- Minnesota’s sex trafficking law defines sex trafficking as when one person profits from, receives anything of value from, or aids in the commercial sexual exploitation of another, by any means. Minnesota’s law is deemed more effective than the federal law, which requires proof that force, fraud or coercion was used to exploit the person.
- Since the enactment of the Safe Harbor Law, Minnesota Law Enforcement agencies have doubled the number of sex trafficking convictions. Minnesota’s law also increased the penalties against traffickers and buyers.
- In 2014, Minnesota’s Safe Harbor program instituted a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and multi-state agency approach that ensures communities across the state have the knowledge, skills and resources to effectively identify sexually exploited youth and provide them with victim-centered services and safe housing. Regional Navigators throughout the state are the main point of contact for sexually exploited youth and are responsible for connecting them with services.
- The Minnesota Department of Health’s Safe Harbor program www.health.state.mn.us/communities/safeharbor/ coordinates the services of the eight Regional Navigators in MN.
- The Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force mnhttf.com is comprised of governmental and non-governmental agencies working to end human trafficking through a coordinated, multidisciplinary, statewide response.
Minnesota Day One Crisis Hotline | 866-223-1111 | Text: 612-399-9995
Provides 24/7 crisis support to survivors of human trafficking and sexual assault throughout Minnesota. Call for help, local shelter, and supportive services.
National Human Trafficking Hotline | 888-373-7888
Serves victims and survivors of human trafficking. Call to report tips, seek services, ask for help, or receive information about human trafficking.