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Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation

A background sheet on human trafficking:
Human Trafficking Cheat Sheet from the Polaris Project.pdfHuman Trafficking Cheat Sheet from the Polaris Project.pdf

Human Trafficking Statistics from the Polaris Project.pdfHuman Trafficking Statistics from the Polaris Project.pdf

Selected Statistics:

  • 21 million – Number of people in modern-day slavery across the world. (Free the Slaves, “Top 10 Facts About Modern Slavery”)
  • 4.5 million victims are used for forced commercial sexual exploitation, of whom 98 percent are women and girls. (International Labour Organization)
  • Studies have found that 76-100 percent of female survivors of sex trafficking report being physically assaulted. (Clawson, Dutch, & Williamson, 2008; Raymond et al., 2002; Zimmerman, 2003; Zimmerman et al., 2006).
  • 67-100 percent report being sexually assaulted while they were trafficked. (Clawson, Dutch, & Williamson, 2008; Raymond et al., 2002; Zimmerman, 2003; Zimmerman et al., 2006).


PreventConnect Web Conference: The recording, text chat transcript, resources and slide deck are available here Public Health Approach to Preventing Human Trafficking

Developing and Implementing culturally-relevant and intersectional community-based prevention programs: Banteay Srei (also featured in our web conference ‘Public Health Approach to Preventing Human Trafficking’ and upcoming podcast)

Freedom Network USA

The International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA)

The mission of IOFA is to eliminate human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable adolescents worldwide through innovative programming and collaborative solutions to empower and protect young people.

Sexual Violence Research Initiative:
The numerous challenges of researching a sensitive and hidden issue like trafficking are acknowledged, however, a sound understanding of trafficking and its implications is essential for policy, services and legislation. Trafficking research is greatly hampered by lack of a shared definition of trafficking and standardised methodologies. Studies that advance our understanding of human trafficking for sexual exploitation are needed in order to develop and strengthen programmes to respond to and prevent human trafficking for sexual exploitation. This section contains links to information about trafficking in women and children.

New language, old problem: Sex trafficking of American Indian women and children. This 2011 Applied Research paper summarizes findings of existing research and other documents on sex trafficking of Native women and girls in the U.S. and Canada and the legal issues related to their protection.
Parents - Sex Trafficking Brochure.pdfParents – Sex Trafficking Brochure.pdf

The newest sex trafficking awareness brochure. This one is for parents to explore the issue of sex trafficking from a parents lens and the last 2 pages are for parents whose child has been sex trafficked. This is part of a series of brochures that you can find on that they have developed with sex trafficking survivors and experts in different fields that come into contact with sex trafficked persons.

Potential Trafficking Indicators from Polaris Project lists red flags that may be indicators of a human trafficking situation.

Key US. Numbers to Call lists governmental and non-governmental hotlines.

About Human Trafficking from the HHS website gives an overview of human trafficking and what the HHS does in regards to this issue.

Rescue & Restore Toolkits from the HHS for health care providers, social service organizations and law enforcement. Brochures also available!

National Human Trafficking Resource Center is a program of the Polaris Project which is a non-profit, non-governmental organization working exclusively on the issue of human trafficking. They operate a national, victim-centered, toll-free hotline, provide referrals, resources, general information and training, and technical assistance.

Trafficking in Persons Report is an international annual report. Issues from 2001 to present.

Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Human Trafficking Resource Page

Not for Sale: creates tools that engage business, government, and grassroots in order to incubate and grow social enterprises to benefit enslaved and vulnerable communities.

Girls Educational and Mentoring Services’ (GEMS) mission is to empower girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. GEMS is committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth.
Read an interview with Rachel Lloyd, the founder of GEMS here

End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT USA)
Prostitution Research and Education Website
Coalition Against Trafficking of Women (CATW)
Equality Now
“The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico”: This national study by Richard J. Estes and Neil Alan Weiner contains general statistics on the commercial sexual exploitation of children occurring throughout the US.

“New York Prevalence Study of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children”: This OCFS-funded state-specific study is by contract research organization Westat.

“A Stages of Change Approach to Helping Patients Change Behavior”: This article, by the American Family Physician, discusses Prochaska and Diclemente’s Stages of Change Model, which GEMS uses in Support Services programming.

“The Effects of Federal Legislation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children”: The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention produced this bulletin.

“From Victim to Survivor, From Survivor to Leader“: This White-Paper Project documents the experiences of GEMS’ members at GEMS, how they viewed these experiences, what they felt they’d learned, and what they need to feel supported in their development.

Report: “The State of Human Trafficking in California” (2012)