Human Lives Human Rights: The principal methods traffickers use to control victims include:
- Threatening to hurt them or their families,
- threatening to have them deported,
- taking away their passport, birth certificate or ID card,
- Making them work to pay back money they claim is owed them
- Giving them drugs in order to create an addiction or control them and then making a them perform sexually to get more drugs
- Preventing them from having contact with friends, family, or the outside world
Types of work a trafficked person may be forced to do include prostitution or sex work, farm work, cleaning, child care, sweatshop work, and other types of labor.
Sometimes a woman may end up trafficked after being forced to marry someone against her will. In a forced marriage, a woman’s husband and his family have control over her. Not all people who are trafficked are taken across state lines or national borders.
Statistics of human trafficking in the United States
Human trafficking occurs in all states of the United States. In 2016, 7,500 people were trafficked in the United States, and more than 800,000 people are trafficked worldwide each year. Half of these victims are under 18 years old and most of them are girls and women.
Human trafficking victims can be from urban, suburban, or rural areas and can have varying levels of education. In the United States, most human trafficking victims come from within the country, or from Mexico and the Philippines.
While human trafficking can happen to anyone, some people in the United States are at greater risk. These include:
- Runaways and homeless youth
- Children in the welfare or juvenile justice system
- American Indians and Alaska Natives
- Migrant workers
- People who don’t speak English well
- People with disabilities
- People in the LGBTQ community