QUICK FACTS: HUMAN TRAFFICKING

  • Human Trafficking in general: Estimated between 28 – 30 million people worldwide.
  • Roughly 80% of those are female.
  • Roughly 50% are children.
  • Human Trafficking generates approximately 32 billion dollars annually.
  • Human Trafficking is 2nd only to Drug Trafficking.  Why?  You can sell a gun once, you can sell a bag of cocaine once but you can sell a human over and over and over.
  • The basic definition of Sex Trafficking: When an individual makes a profit by selling a human being in the Industry by means of force, fraud or coercion.
  • A minor (18 or younger) does not have to prove force, fraud or coercion in order to be classified as a Sex Trafficking victim.
  • An adult (18 or older) must prove force, fraud or coercion in order to be classified as a Sex Trafficking victim.
  • Example of Force: Kidnapping.
  • Example of Fraud: Offering a job that does not exist in order to create a desperate situation.
  • Example of Coercion: Threats against family members, perceived violence against the victim or family members, or emotional blackmail just to name a few.
  • Roughly 14,500 – 17,500 victims are brought into the US annually for the purpose of Trafficking.
  • Human Smuggling and Trafficking are different crimes.  Sometimes Human Trafficking involves Human Smuggling.
  • It is estimated that we currently have approximately 600,000 – 800,000 domestic (that is US citizens) victims of Trafficking being trafficked within our borders.
  • Of those, approximately 300,000 – 500,000 are domestic Trafficking victims.
  • Domestic victims are harder to detect because they blend in more.
  • The average age of entry into the Industry is 12.
  • The age will continue to decrease as the demand increases.
  • The most frequent form of recruitment known is through peers.
  • Girls are also recruited off of Facebook, MySpace and other social media sites and chat rooms.

Victims are generally trafficked into the States from Asia, Central and America, and Eastern Europe. Many do not speak or understand English, and are further isolated and unable to communicate with relief organizations, law enforcement and others who might be able to help them.

There are several common destinations for victims of trafficking. They include cantinas, strip clubs, massage spas, modeling studios, brothels, and private establishments. The Internet provides a convenient source of advertising for those who enslave others.

Cantinas:
In Houston, cantinas are typically Hispanic bars with “bar girls” who are rented out to customers. They are sold with the customer’s beverage and are often forced to dance topless or nude, or engage in forced prostitution.

Spas/Modeling Studios/ Adult Galleries:
The number of these brothels has increased in the last decade, as they operate without a Sexually Oriented Business license and without local, county, or state controls.
Often these establishments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Under the guise of “massage,” women are sexually abused and exploited for the financial gain of their trafficker.

Strip Clubs:
Some strip clubs are starting points for women and girls being forced into a life of slavery. Often a pimp or a “boyfriend” forces them, through the use of threats or acts of violence, into performing acts of prostitution.

Internet: The Internet has proven itself to be a safe place for traffickers to advertise. There are specific web sites dedicated to the advertisement, review, and sale of victims of human trafficking.

Private Establishments:
Many victims of human trafficking are forced to act as servants or sex slaves in a private home, apartment or hotel. This provides an environment where the trafficker can more easily hide his victim, with less risk of exposure to authorities.

In Texas, we are working to strengthen laws and increase services to victims.