Would you be able to identify a victim of human trafficking if you saw her in public?
While many trafficking victims are locked away behind closed doors, most are hidden in plain sight.
A United Nations report says human trafficking is at a 13-year high. According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated 40.3 million people around the world are victims of human trafficking – a third of whom are children.
Human trafficking involves either force, coercion, or outright lies to obtain labor or sex work (whether commercial or illicit).
Most victims are women who face additional challenges, making them particularly vulnerable.
Substance use, undocumented migration, mental health issues, and unstable housing put women at risk. Meanwhile, one out of every seven children reported as a runaway ends up as a trafficking victim.
Many of these women and girls were coerced into a life of sex work or forced labor with false promises of marriage, legitimate job opportunities, or security.
Tackling human trafficking is not easy, and there’s no single solution.
But together, we can support the victims with resources, educate communities, and cooperate with law enforcement to bring powerful predators to justice.