27 Million People
Are Trafficked Worldwide.
Who is vulnerable?
Human trafficking can happen to anyone but some people are more vulnerable than others. Significant risk factors include recent migration or relocation, substance use, mental health concerns, involvement with the child welfare system and being a runaway or homeless youth. Often, traffickers identify and leverage their victims’ vulnerabilities in order to create dependency.
Who are the traffickers?
Perpetrators of human trafficking span all racial, ethnic, and gender demographics and are as diverse as survivors. Some use their privilege, wealth, and power as a means of control while others experience the same socio-economic oppression as their victims. They include individuals, business owners, members of a gang or network, parents or family members of victims, intimate partners, owners of farms or restaurants, and powerful corporate executives and government representatives.
How do traffickers control victims?
Traffickers employ a variety of control tactics, the most common include physical and emotional abuse and threats, isolation from friends and family, and economic abuse. They make promises aimed at addressing the needs of their target in order to impose control. As a result, victims become trapped and fear leaving for myriad reasons, including psychological trauma, shame, emotional attachment, or physical threats to themselves or their family.
State Report Cards
Grading Criminal Record Relief Laws for Survivors of Human Trafficking
By its very definition, the crime of human trafficking involves people participating in some activity against their will. Often those activities are illegal – prostitution, selling drugs, shoplifting – and trafficking victims are arrested and charged with a crime. This tragically ironic scenario is extremely common – a survey found that 91% of survivor respondents had a criminal record as a result of being trafficked. A criminal record, even an arrest without a conviction, often leads to doors being slammed shut. It’s harder to find a job, rent an apartment, and otherwise rebuild a life after breaking free from a trafficking situation.