Know the Facts2019-09-12T22:10:05+00:00

Know the Facts

youth are at risk of being trafficked every day in the USA.
is the average age a sex trafficking victim is first sold.
is the average number of times a sex trafficking victim is raped.
0 in 100
are the odds of escape.
0 years
is the average life span for those who don’t escape, once trafficked.

Victims come from ALL demographics, ALL communities.

The Global Problem

According to the 2017 “Human Trafficking by the Numbers (

  • An estimated 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these:
    • 16 million (64%) were exploited for labor,
    • 4.8 million (19%) were sexually exploited,
    • 4.1 million (17%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor
  • Forced labor takes place in many different industries. Of the 16 million trafficking victims exploited for labor:
    • 7.5 million (47%) forced labor victims work in construction, manufacturing, mining, or hospitality
    • 3.8 million (24%) forced labor victims are domestic workers
    • 1.7 million (11%) forced labor victims work in agriculture
  • 71% of trafficking victims around the world are women and girls and 29% are men and boys.
  • 15.4 million victims (75%) are aged 18 or older, with the number of children under the age of 18 estimated at 5.5 million (25%).
  • The Asia-pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced laborers— 15.4 million (62% of the global total). Africa has 5.7 million (23%) followed by Europe and Central Asia with 2.2 million (9%). The Americas account for 1.2 million (5%) and the Arab States account for 1% of all victims.
  • Human trafficking does not always involve travel to the destination of exploitation: 2.2 million (14%) of victims of forced labor moved either internally or internationally, while 3.5 million (74%) of victims of sexual exploitation were living outside their country of residence.
  • Victims spend an average of 20 months in forced labor, although this varied with different forms of forced labor.
  • While only 19% of victims are trafficked for sex, sexual exploitation earns 66% of the global profits of human trafficking. The average annual profits generated by each woman in forced sexual servitude ($100,000) is estimated to be six times more than the average profits generated by each trafficking victim worldwide ($21,800), according to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
  • OSCE studies show that sexual exploitation can yield a return on investment ranging from 100% to 1,000%, while an enslaved laborer can produce more than 50% profit even in less profitable markets (e.g., agricultural labor in India).
  • While sexual exploitation generates profits, forced labor saves costs. In one case, Chinese kitchen workers were paid $808 for a 78-hour work week in Germany. According to German law, a cook was entitled to earn $2,558 for a 39-hour work week according to the OSCE.

United States

  • 4.5M victims trafficked in the U.S.A
  • A $32 billion-a-year industry, human trafficking is on the rise and is in all 50 states (U.S. Government)
  • In the USA, sex trafficking comprises more than 80% of all human trafficking. However, labor trafficking is on the increase
  • It is estimated that there are over 300,000 new sex trafficked victims each year.
    • 80% are female
    • Nearly half are children
    • 18,000-20,000 victims are brought into the USA from another country
  • 75% of victims are trafficked online
  • Over 50% of exploited adults were first trafficked as children
  • Teen homelessness is the single biggest factor for being sexually assaulted
  • The State Department estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked into the USA each year
  • New York, Texas and Florida have the highest incidence of sex trafficking (Human Trafficking Hotline)
  • According to the Urban Center Study, 71% of labor trafficking victims come into the country legally
    • Migrant workers come to the USA on legal visas tied to their employer
  • Labor Trafficking in the USA is most prevalent in:
    • Hospitality business (hotels, restaurants)
    • Private Residences (nannies, housekeepers, cooks)
    • Farms
  • The U.S. Department of Labor has identified 148 goods from 75 countries made by forced and child labor.
  • In 2017, an estimated 1 out of 7 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims.
    • Of those, 88% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran.

How it Happens

Your State / Province

Minnesota (USA)

  • 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.
Minnesota Logo


  • 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  coordinates the services of the eight Regional Navigators in MN.
  • The Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force 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.

Wisconsin (USA)


  • Human trafficking happens in both urban and rural communities across Wisconsin, documented in all 72 counties
  • Includes girls and women, boys and men
  • 79% of all reported cases are in Milwaukee
  • 92% of trafficked people are women
  • 78% of youth trafficked in Milwaukee are African American
  • 17% increase in 2015—unsure if it is because of better reporting or an actual increase
  • 50 cases in WI in 2015—45 sex, 3 labor
  • 35 arrests Aug 11, 2017, in Green Bay, 25 arrests Sept 14, 2017
  • Brown County (Green Bay) #3 county for trafficking in WI
  • There is a WI Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force chaired by Attorney General and Secretary of Dept of Children and Families which includes prosecutors, police officers, social workers, educators, victim advocates, lawyers…
  • Passed first state law against trafficking in 2008—not real effective—lack of money for data collection, education, law enforcement training & victim services—only 1 conviction under new state law; 8 convicted in WI under Federal Safe Harbor law since 2006
  • Safe Harbor law just passed in Aug 2017
  • Trafficked victims came from 17 different countries; but international victims represent only 6% of all victims of trafficking in WI

North Dakota (USA)


  • Human trafficking happens in both large cities and rural communities across North Dakota.
  • Between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2019, the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force (NDHTTF) has served 345 victims of human trafficking (268 adults, 77 minors).
  • There have been 243 sex trafficking cases, 28 labor trafficking cases, 24 sex and labor trafficking cases, and 50 other cases.
  • Between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2019, the (NDHTTF), fifty-seven (57) arrests of perpetrators were made.
  • The inception of the North Dakota Human Task Force was in 2015. This is a collaborative team made up of law enforcement, prosecution, and service providers at Federal, State, and local levels.
  • North Dakota aims to provide person-centered services by the enactment of the Safe Harbor Law in 2015.
  • Additional ND Laws added in 2015 include:
    1. Uniform Act on Prevention of Remedies for Human Trafficking added to the ND Century Code
    2. Expungement – Individuals who have a prostitution conviction can file suit to get it removed from record
    3. Sentencing enhancements including an increased penalty for pimping from a “A” Misdemeanor to “C” Felony
    4. The establishment of the Demand Reduction Program also known as a “John’s School”
    5. Formation of the North Dakota Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission
  • There are multiple organizations working to combat human trafficking including 31:8 Project and the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force. For more information on other organizations within the state, visit or
  • The North Dakota Human Trafficking Hotline number is 701-526-4863.
  • The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888.

Ontario (Canada)


  • Majority of reported human trafficking cases in Canada are from Ontario.
  • Human trafficking reports ‘steadily’ increasing. According to Statistics Canada, there were 340 police-reported cases of human trafficking in Canada in 2016, where it was also the most serious violation.
  • Between 2009 and 2016, there were a total of 1,220 police-reported incidents of human trafficking where it was the most serious violation,” the report, titled, “Trafficking in persons in Canada,” explained.
  • In Canada, most cases of human trafficking involve other offences, such as assault or sexual exploitation.
  • The vast majority of victims in Canada between 2009 and 2016, at 95 per cent, were women. And among women, 70 per cent were younger than 25 years of age.
  • Nearly three in 10 victims experienced some sort of physical injury. Many also suffer from emotional and psychological trauma, the StatCan report noted.
  • According to the RCMP, there have been 269 cases in Ontario since 2005 where human trafficking specific charges were laid.


Help for survivors

  • Canada has a dedicated, confidential, 24/7 human trafficking hotline: 1-833-900-1010. The hotline is a resource for everyone from victims seeking help, to individuals with a tip to report on a potential case, to members of the public wanting to learn more about the subject – and it provides information on services available across Ontario.
  • People who have experienced human trafficking or domestic abuse can contact their local municipal service manager to get priority access to social housing or help paying rent. Some frontline agencies can also help survivors apply for a monthly rent subsidy.
  • Indigenous anti-human trafficking liaisons support organizations and communities in responding to the needs of human trafficking survivors who identify as First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
  • Ontario also has a unique Human Trafficking Lived Experience Roundtable to ensure survivor perspectives inform all programs and services.

Legal Supports

  • Survivors, people at risk of human trafficking and parents or guardians of a child at risk of trafficking can get free legal help to apply for a restraining order against a current, past or potential trafficker.
  • Ontario’s justice system offers several services tailored to meet the unique needs of human trafficking survivors. These include specialized Victim/Witness Assistance workers; access to emergency funding for services like tattoo removal, addiction recovery and ID replacement; and the option to sue traffickers in court for financial compensation.
  • Ontario has a Human Trafficking Prosecution Team composed of specialized Crown prosecutors who are responsible for prosecuting human trafficking cases, providing legal advice to police and prosecutors, and delivering enhanced education and training within the justice sector.

Prevention and Training

  • Ontario marks Human Trafficking Awareness Day on February 22 each year, and regularly promotes awareness through social media (@StopTrafficking on twitter) and print materials.
  • Specialized youth-in-Transition Workers help to prevent the victimization of vulnerable youth transitioning out of care and connect human trafficking survivors to appropriate services and resources.
  • Free online training is available for anyone who wants to learn about the issue at The Centre for Addiction and Mental health also has free online training for addiction and mental health workers.
  • Police officers receive specialized training at the Ontario Police College on how to investigate and respond to human trafficking cases using an effective, victim-centered and trauma informed approach. Police also receive intelligence-gathering support for human trafficking cases through Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario.

Additional Information

‘Modern day slavery’: Why human trafficking often flies under the radar in Canada


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