Throughout the world…
There are an estimated 24.9 million people who are victims of human trafficking. Compelled to work or to engage in commercial sex acts, they live in exploitation. But the problem is not only a global one. It’s domestic too.
How do we know?
Prevalence estimates vary greatly for the scope of human trafficking in the United States, but there are ways to track the federal response to this often-hidden crime. In an effort to better understand how federal courts hold traffickers accountable, since 2017, the Human Trafficking Institute has compiled comprehensive data from every federal criminal and civil human trafficking case that United States courts handle each year.
For the first time, the 2020 Federal Human Trafficking Report contains data from 2020 federal human trafficking cases as well as from every federal criminal human trafficking prosecution since 2000, the year the Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act was passed into law (download the full Report here).
Here’s what we found in 2020:
In 2020, federal courts in 52 states and U.S. territories handled 579 active human trafficking prosecutions, 94% of which were sex trafficking cases and 6% of which were forced labor cases. A closer look showed the federal response varied wildly from state to state. Want to know how your state held traffickers accountable in 2020? Click the map below. You can also find state data from 2019 and 2018 using the map.
Click below to see your state’s federal response to human trafficking in 2020, 2019, and 2018.
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*Each State Report’s findings are derived from data the Human Trafficking Institute compiles for the Federal Human Trafficking Report each year. Findings are not a prevalence estimate of trafficking in the state but instead serve as an objective summary of federal efforts to address human trafficking in that state. The Report does not capture data from state prosecutions, state civil suits, or unreported human trafficking cases.
Year-over-year trends in the 2019 & 2020 State Reports represent data only from human trafficking cases charged under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The 2019 State Reports provide a separate graphic that illustrates human trafficking cases charged outside of the TVPA to provide a more nuanced look at how the federal government prosecutes human trafficking crimes. The 2020 Report notes how many trafficking cases were charged outside of the TVPA. In contrast, data in the 2018 State Reports represent all federal human trafficking cases, including those charged under the TVPA and outside of the TVPA. For this reason, data in the 2019 and 2020 State Reports may differ from data in the 2018 State Reports.