The Facts: The stories are true, the need is real.
Human trafficking (both sex trafficking and trafficking for forced labor) is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today. It is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry following drug dealing.
(U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services)
Approximately 80% of human trafficking victims are women and girls, and up to 50% are minors. (U.S. Department of State)
The total market value of illicit human trafficking is estimated to be in excess of $32 billion. (U.N.)
Worldwide, there are nearly two million children in the commercial sex trade. (UNICEF)
Here in the U.S., an estimated 450,000 children run away from home every year, and it is estimated that one out of three teens on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.
The average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14 years old. Minor victims were sold an average of 10-15 times a day, 6 days a week.
1 out of every 5 pornographic images is of a child; and 55% of child pornography comes from the U.S. The sale of child pornography in the U.S. has become more than a $3 billion annual industry.
It’s Happening Here, Washington State’s Task Force against Trafficking of Persons reports our state is a hotbed for the recruitment, transportation and sale of people for labor. The report indicates several factors make Washington prone to human trafficking: International border with Canada, abundance of ports, vast rural areas.
Victims range from “mail-order” brides to sex workers to domestic workers and children.
Local victims have come from as far as Russia, the Philippines, China and Mexico.