Human Trafficking Trends in the United States


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Since 2007, we have worked closely with local partners to help tens of thousands of callers connect with the help and services they need. As a result of the calls, emails, and online tip reports fielded by the hotline over the course of our first five years of operation, the NHTRC maintains one of the most extensive data sets on the issue of human trafficking in the United States.

From December 7, 2007, through December 31, 2012, the NHTRC answered 65,557 calls, 1,735 online tip forms, and 5,251 emails — totaling more than 72,000 interactions. This report is based on the information learned from these interactions during the first five years of the hotline’s operation by Polaris.

Key facts:

  • The NHTRC experienced a 259% increase in calls between 2008 and 2012.
  • In five years, we received reports of 9,298 unique cases of human trafficking.
  • The three most common forms of sex trafficking reported to the hotline involved pimp-controlled prostitution, commercial-front brothels, and escort services. Labor trafficking was most frequently reported in domestic work, restaurants, peddling rings, and sales crews.
  • 41% of sex trafficking cases and 20% of labor trafficking cases referenced U.S. citizens as victims.
  • Women were referenced as victims in 85% of sex trafficking cases, and men in 40% of labor trafficking cases.

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Client Quotes

"Thanks to Polaris Project, I have a job, a home, and many friends that help me when I need it. I am making a life of my own."

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- Survivor of Labor Trafficking & Client of Polaris