The truth can sometimes overwhelm. Especially when it’s ugly. This is ugly, but we cannot afford to turn our heads. We cannot ignore it. The issue is far too important. Lives are literally at stake.
We seek not to provide you all the statistics on human trafficking, but we do want you to be informed. Here are just 10 important facts everyone should know. Be sure to subscribe to our blog (find directions on the left sidebar of the Home page) for regular updates.
1. There are an estimated 36 million slaves in the world today. That’s the highest recorded number of slaves in history.
2. The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.
3. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry bringing in an estimated $32 billion annually. It is currently second largest criminal enterprise in the world, after drug smuggling and arms dealing.
4. The United States is one of the top three destination points for trafficked victims. California, New York, Texas and Nevada are the top destination states within the country.
5. Immigration agents estimate that 10,000 women are being held in Los Angeles’ underground brothels; this does not include the thousands of victims in domestic work, sweatshops or other informal industries. And that’s just one city.
6. According to estimates, approximately 80 percent of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19 percent involves labor exploitation.
7. An estimated 13 million children are enslaved around the world today, accounting for nearly half of trafficking victims in the world.
8. The average age of a young woman being trafficked is 12–14 years old. According to the California Child Welfare Council, kids as young as 10 are being peddled for sex every day in Los Angeles County.
9. The average life expectancy of children who enter the sex trade is seven years. This means, on average, a child forced into prostitution at age 12 will be dead by 19.
10. Less than 2% of victims are ever rescued. Only 1 in 100,000 European traffickers are ever convicted.