- Human trafficking is one of the world’s most profitable crimes – worth $150 billion annually
- Women & girls make up 72% of all reported cases, including 99% of sex trafficking
What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is when people are forced into exploitative situations for profit. It is estimated there are currently almost 50 million victims of human trafficking globally.
Also known as modern slavery, victims are exploited across three main forms of trafficking: forced labour (including sex trafficking), forced marriage, and forced organ removal.
How big is the trafficking industry?
Human trafficking is one of the world’s most profitable crimes, earning traffickers at least $150 billion annually. And you might be contributing to it without realising, with everything from your morning coffee to your smartphone potentially including forced labour in their production.
It’s easy to imagine trafficking only occurs in far off places, but 52% of all forced labour, and a quarter of forced marriages, are found in high and upper-middle income countries. These crimes occur in almost every country in the world, cutting across cultural, ethnic, and religious lines.
What’s the impact on people’s lives?
The effects of human trafficking are widespread and dangerous, undermining peace and security globally, from the personal devastation of those affected, to the destabilisation of communities, and global impact of an illicit industry on the economy.
The risk of human trafficking is heightened for women and girls in areas of extreme gender discrimination, gender-based violence, and conflict. They are disproportionately affected by trafficking globally, making up 72% of all reported cases (women 49%, girls 23%), including 99% of sex trafficking.
Men and boys are more likely to be exploited within male-dominated industries, such as forced labour in construction, agriculture and manufacturing, along with being the main victims of organ removal.
Are trafficking numbers getting better or worse?
It is hard to say as we never know the true number of victims. Those living in poverty, migrants, and people living in areas of political conflict are often targeted as they usually have little social or legal support. Providing access to services, resources, and education on trafficking for these people, can help protect them from traffickers who prey on vulnerable populations.
At i=Change, we’re committed to supporting NGOs that fight trafficking, advocate for preventative action, while providing protection, psycho-social support and skills training that empowers survivors to rebuild their lives.
You can be the change, when you shop for change.