Human Trafficking


Human trafficking is a pervasive, global problem with acute consequences for the survivors. Human trafficking, according to the U.S. Department of State, is a form of modern-day slavery involving the recruitment, harboring, or obtaining a person for labor or services, through force, fraud, coercion or threat for the purpose of exploitation. There are an estimated 40 million slaves in the world today - that’s more than at any other point in human history. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise worldwide, with estimated total profits of $150 billion.

Human trafficking is happening right here in the United States:

  • More than 63,380 total cases of human trafficking have been reported to the Hotline since 2007.
  • According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported call data, there were 11,852 sex trafficking cases reported in 2019.
  • The 2020 Federal Human Trafficking Report made its first efforts to include prevention in the fight against human trafficking, holding 1,350 training and awareness events.
  • Of the active sex trafficking cases in the U.S. in 2019, 5,359 involved child victims.
  • Since the onset of COVID-19, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has reported a fourfold increase in online child sexual exploitation in the same time period from 2019.

Polaris Project Overview

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

2020 Federal Trafficking Report 

The Issue in North Carolina

  • In 2019, there were 1208 calls made to the Human Trafficking Hotline from North Carolina, leading to the investigation of 266 cases. Of these, 218 involved female victims 30 involved males, and 3 were gender minorities. Roughly 59 of these cases involved children (Polaris Project, 2019).
  • In 2019, North Carolina received an “A” on the grade scale for their efforts to combat human trafficking.
  • In 2018 North Carolina was ranked as 12th in the country for prevalence of human trafficking, with Charlotte being the top destination.

In the last five years, communities across the country have worked to increase services for victims, help survivors find new jobs, strengthen penalties against traffickers, pass new laws, combat the demand for the purchasing of commercial sex, increase training for law enforcement, conduct awareness campaigns and so much more (Polaris Project, 2016). Let's keep the momentum going and continue running for freedom! 

National Human Trafficking Hotline: NC Statistics

Polaris Project Overview

2019 Shared Hope report Card for NC

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