Human trafficking may be one of the least understood crimes in the United States. Victims of this crime may be men, women or children who are U. S. citizens or foreign nationals. Any person under the age of 18 engaged in commercial sex acts, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion, is a victim of human trafficking.

  • referred to as slavery without chains
  • widespread and highly profitable crime
  • largely hidden from public view out of ignorance
  • denial of existence in the USA

While data are not yet available to describe the full extent of human trafficking in the United States, available research indicates that a majority of law enforcement agencies in the United States have encountered some form of human trafficking or have been in contact with victims through routine work and investigation into other crimes.

Trafficking victims often do not see themselves as victims and blame themselves for their situation. Discovery of this crime is therefore difficult because victims rarely self-report and the time and resources required to uncover the violation are immense.

As many children have been smuggled into countries and intermingled with drug rings that lure children as dealers. A very large number of illegal child pornography websites have been erupted over the Internet.

The facts remain that human / sex trafficking has become both a significant concern for the health and well being, primarily women and children on a global scale.

Statistics & Facts

  • 800,000 people in trafficking and sex tourism industry
  • 300,000 children at risk for sexual exploitation every year (world-wide)
  • 1.6 to 2.8 million children run away from home
  • 3.5% (run away) children ages 7-12 prostitute
  • Average age of female prostitution is 12-14 yrs.
  • Childhood pornography – over 9 million images

The Profits

  • US $31.6 billion– Estimated global annual profits
  • US$ 15.5 billion ~ 49% generated in industrialized economies
  • US$ 9.7 billion ~ Asia and the Pacific
  • US$ 1.3 billion ~ Latin America and Caribbean
  • US$ 1.6 billion ~ sub-Saharan Africa
  • US$ 1.5 billion ~ Middle East and North Africa

A Global Crisis Human Trafficking: The Facts

  • 1.4 million ~ 56% in Asia and the Pacific
  • 250,000 ~ 1-% in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • 230,000 ~ 9.2% in the Middle East and Northern Africa
  • 130,000 ~ 5.2% in sub-Saharan countries
  • 270,000 ~ 10.8% in industrialized countries
  • 200,000 ~ 8% in countries in transition
  • Reports from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries




Forms of Human Trafficking

Victims trafficked into prostitution and pornography are usually involved in the most exploitive forms of commercial sex operations. Sex trafficking operations can be found in highly visible venues such as street prostitution, as well as more underground systems such as closed-brothels that operate out of residential homes. Sex trafficking also takes place in a variety of public and private locations such as massage parlors, spas, strip clubs and other fronts for prostitution. Victims may start off dancing or stripping in clubs and then be coerced into situations of prostitution and pornography.

  • Agricultural labor
  • Construction labor
  • Custodial work (hotels, schools, public and private buildings)
  • Domestic servitude (housekeepers, nannies, home care providers)
  • Escort services
  • Factory labor
  • Public begging
  • Residential brothel-based prostitution
  • Restaurant work
  • Servile marriage
  • Sexualized labor (such as stripping, exotic dancing, semi-nude performances)
  • Street-based prostitution
  • Street peddling
  • Promise of a good job in another country
  • False marriage proposal tuned into a bondage situation
  • Being sold into the sex trade by parents, husbands, boyfriends
  • Being kidnapped by traffickers

Traffickers use psychological as well as physical coercion and bondage. Coercion is defined as: any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm or physical restraints




Methods Recruiters
use starvation 52% are men
use confinement 42% are women
beatings and physical abuse 6% are both men & women
rape/gang rape 54% of cases are a stranger to victim
forced drug use 46% of cases are known to the victim
threats of shame


Recognizing the Crime

  • Physical and psychology abuse
  • Fearful and submissive
  • Works excessive hours but receives little or no compensation
  • Fearful of discussing working conditions
  • Little idea or no idea of their geographical location
  • Apparently never leaves home unless escorted
  • Relationships controlled by another person
  • Prostituted minor used in commercial sexual activities
  • Runaway or homeless youth exploited through “survival sex”
  • Adult prostitution
  • Groups of workers transported in and out of labor location
  • Lack of identification or documentation

Any child engaged in commercial sex is a victim of trafficking. Adolescents are oftentimes running away from home and are approached by a “pimp” (perpetrator) within 48 hours of living in the streets.

The United States has taken the stance of “looking beneath the surface” ~ the challenging of viewing victims among the people you help every day.



Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) & Revisions

Human trafficking and sex trafficking are two tracks—sexual exploitation and labor exploitation.

According to federal legislation, human trafficking involves the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of forced labor or services through means of force, fraud, or coercion.

Sex trafficking occurs when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or when the person induced to perform such acts is under the age of 18. Human trafficking often involves severe violence to it victims as well as a host of other crimes including gang crime, drug and property crimes, organized criminal operations, and other violations of state, federal, and international law.

In 2000, human trafficking became a federal crime with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, specifically the Trafficking Victim Protection Act (TVPA). Enactment of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 made sex trafficking a serious violation of Federal Law, along with labor trafficking. This act has undergone reauthorization in 2003, 2005, and 2008.



Rescue & Restore ~ is a campaign under U.S. law and is responsible for helping victims of human trafficking become eligible to receive benefits and services so they may rebuild their lives safely in the U. S. The intent is to increase the number of identified trafficking victims. By educating health care providers, social service organizations, and the law enforcement community about the issue of human trafficking, the goal is to “look beneath the surface” by recognizing clues and asking the right questions because they may be the only outsiders with the chance to reach out and help victims. The primary goal is to raise public awareness of the issue of human trafficking.

Help for Victims ~ When victims of trafficking are identified, the United States government can help them adjust their immigration status, and obtain support and assistance in rebuilding their lives in the United States through various programs. By certifying victims of trafficking, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) enables trafficking victims who are non-US citizens to receive Federally funded benefits and services to the same extent as a refugee. Certified victims or trafficking an obtain access to services that provide English language instruction and skills training for job placement.

  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Homeland Security
  • FBI (TBI)
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Social Services
  • Medical and Mental Health Services



the Greater Chattanooga Coalition AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING (GCCAHT)

MISSION Empowering individuals and organization to collaborate and to create a community free of human trafficking and slavery of all forms.

  • VISION: Eliminate all forms of human trafficking.
  • VALUES: Human Dignity and Justice for All
  • Coalition Partners:
    • Local government
    • Civil groups
    • Churches Ethnic/immigrant groups
    • Women’s organizations
    • Labor organizations
    • Immigration organizations
    • Community health providers
    • Faith-based organizations and other NGOs
    • Social Service organizations

Coalition partners will disseminate campaign information and resources to intermediaries who may come in contact with victims of trafficking to inform them of service available.

The first thing you can do is make yourself aware of the growing issue of modern day sex slavery. Knowledge is power! If you make yourself aware and educate yourself it will enable you to identify a trafficked child, trafficker or brothel.




Persons who are suspicious they have encountered a victim of sex trafficking has access to a 24-hour hot line to obtain information. This hotline will help the person calling to determine if they have encountered victims of human trafficking, will identify local resources available in the local community to help victims, and will help to coordinate with local social services organizations to help protect and serve victims so they can begin the process of restoring their lives