Human trafficking is a serious problem in the United States that is complex and frequently misunderstood. The sensationalist trafficking narrative commonly depicted in the media and by activists has been fraught with exaggerated data and themes, which has often detracted from potential remedies.
A new report released Wednesday by the Polaris Project helps to humanize the issue by providing a stark look into human trafficking trends in the United States, revealing that modern-day slavery is more prevalent in everyday life than most people realize. The study reveals that 9,298 cases of human trafficking have been reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), a 24-hour national hotline call center servicing the United States for the last five years.
The report unearths some interesting statistics with regard to pimp-controlled sex trafficking situations. Of the 5,932 cases of sex trafficking, 42 percent were in a pimp-controlled situation, with over 40 percent of victims minors or under 18 years of age. Recruitment occurred mostly socially through a friend (32 percent of cases),with homeless shelters, rehab facilities and foster homes the next most common places for recruitment. The most common methods pimps used to recruit victims was to show romantic interest by acting as a boyfriend or girlfriend or intimate partner (51 percent of cases) or posing as a benefactor and offering necessities such as food (17 percent). While the narrative of abduction is popular in the media, forced abductions only accounted for a small percent of documented trafficking situations. [Rest.]
- Staggering report exposes US sex trafficking (msnbc.com)
- Report includes 19 indicators of sex trafficking in Maine (bangordailynews.com)
- Sex trafficking victims found on social media outlets (northwestohio.com)
- Trafficking in Flesh: New Report on Human Trafficking in the United States (whatthehelliswater.com)
- Human traffickers are mostly women, Australian Institute of Criminology report finds (smh.com.au)
- Modern Day Slavery: The Reality of Human Trafficking (projecteve.com)
- End Slavery in Europe (forcechange.com)