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Poor, Uneducated Women and Women Are The Victims of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of slavery in which men, women and children are forced into sexual exploitation. Next to drug trafficking, it is the second largest criminal industry in the world.

Who does human trafficking affect?

Eighty percent of the victims are women and children. Most of the victims are females under the age of 18.

Where does trafficking occur?

According to the U.S. Department of State, approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims a year are brought across international borders, and 14,500 - 17,500 are trafficked into the United States. They often come from the Pacific Islands, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa as well as developing countries. However, human trafficking can occur anywhere in the world, and it happens in the U.S.

Types of slavery

Many victims of human trafficking have been also enslaved into forced labor, such as harvesting tomatoes in Florida or picking strawberries in California. The enslavery includes prostitution, pornography and sex tourism which has been known to occur in cities like Toledo, Atlanta, Wichita, and Los Angeles. Others work in migrant farming, hotel and restaurant work, and nail salons.

How to recognize victims of human trafficking

While people who are poor, uneducated, and members of underrepresented groups are most vulnerable to human trafficking, victims also include people from middle-class families and people with college degrees. Victims can sometimes be identified as children who are malnourished, or living with many people in small living quarters who may not be attending school regularly. Psychological signs can include anxiety disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder, phobias, panic attacks and depression.

If you or anyone you know may be a victim of human trafficking, call the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline at 888-373-7888.

For more information, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/endtrafficking

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