Human Trafficking Defined


Human trafficking is modern-day slavery involving the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons; by means of force, fraud, deception, or coercion; for the purpose of sexual exploitation, labor, or services. Human trafficking presents a multi-dimensional threat, stripping victims of their basic human rights and freedoms, increasing global health risks, and fueling the growth of organized crime.1

The high profit and low risk factor of human trafficking have rendered it one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world. Generating revenues of approximately $150 billion a year 2, human trafficking is the fourth most profitable organized criminal industry3, with an estimated 40.3 million victims worldwide at any given time4. Victims are young children, teenagers, women, and men.

The United States is one of the top three origin countries for trafficked victims5, with California being a primary transit and destination state. The proximity to international borders, high number of ports and airports, significant immigrant population, and large economy make California fertile grounds for the exploitation of human beings.