In the land of the free, slavery is big business.

Human trafficking involves the recruitment, harboring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception, or coercion and forced to work against their will.

Most importantly, here are the facts:

  1. Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for human trafficking.
  2. Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing crime. Ranking 3rd behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking. It generates a profit of $32 billion every year.
  3. Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.
  4. Trafficking comes in many forms. This includes forcing victims into prostitution. Subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude. Compelling victims to commit sex acts resulting in the creation of pornography. Providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage and the extraction of organs, tissue or surrogacy.
  5. Approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
  6. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
  7. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders yearly. of which, 80% are female and half are children.
  8. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.
  9. Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
  10. The International Labor Organization estimates women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims.  Representing 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) in contrast to 9.5 million (45%) men trafficked.

Many myths and misconceptions exist surrounding human trafficking. Relink.org is working to help the community recognize key indicators of human trafficking, identify victims and help save lives. It all starts with awareness.

Sources for the above facts were retrieved from:
  1. Dosomething.org
  2. U.S. Department of Defense
  3. “Modern Slavery.” Free the Slaves. https://www.freetheslaves.net/sslpage.aspx?pid=301.
  4. UNODC. “UNODC on human trafficking and migrant smuggling”.
  5. “Human Trafficking Facts.” National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
  6. Bales, Kevin. “The Number.” The CNN Freedom Project Ending Modern Day Slavery.  http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/category/the-facts/the-number/.
  7. “TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT.” United States Department. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/34158.pdf.
  8. California Against Slavery. “What is Human Trafficking?.” Safer California Foundation.  http://www.caseact.org/learn/humantrafficking/.
  9. Bales, Kevin. “The Number.” The CNN Freedom Project Ending Modern Day Slavery. Accessed February 25, 2014, http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/category/the-facts/the-number/.
  10. CNN. “The CNN Freedom Project.”
  11. ILO. “ILO 2012 Global estimate of forced labour Executive summary.”
  12. www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/what-human-trafficking