Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. It plagues every country. The United States is one of the largest destination countries in the world. Victims are deceived into accepting a job offer that promises them a better life. Instead, they find themselves trapped in a cycle of physical and psychological abuse. They are prisoners who cannot escape. Their lives are full of pain, brutality and despair.
Human trafficking takes place in every country, from the richest to the poorest. According to the United Nations, over 130 countries are origin, transit or destination countries for human trafficking. It feeds on the world’s most vulnerable women and children and is driven by the demand in affluent countries.
Approximately 18,000 persons are trafficked into the United States from over 50 countries every year. Over 300,000 children are trafficked within the United States annually. U.S. children are trafficked to large urban centers such as Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles, as well as to main tourism destinations including Las Vegas and Florida. The American girls and women that are trafficked come from big cities and small towns. They come from affluent, middle class, and lower income families and from many ethnic backgrounds. They are recruited from malls, schools, youth centers, theme parks, neighborhoods, and online.
Human trafficking is a health, security, and moral issue. It erodes our political systems. It harms our communities. It endangers the lives and well-being of those who become victims, and it could be taking place right next door to you. Since it thrives in secrecy: the more you know, the more you can do to prevent it. Please get involved, and help Innocents at Risk save innocent lives!