In 2021, 16,710 victims were identified in human trafficking (both labor and sex)

National Human Trafficking Hotline
Home | Practice Areas | Sex Trafficking

Sex Trafficking

From The Human Trafficking Hotline:

In 2021:
10,360 cases of human trafficking (both labor AND sex) were identified
16, 710 victims were involved in these cases (both labor AND sex)

Types of trafficking that were reported to the hotline (does not mean they were all ultimately identified as trafficking):

Sex - 7,499
Labor - 1,066
Sex and Labor - 400

Venues for Sex Trafficking:
Pornography - 807
Illicit Massage/Spa Business - 596
Hotel/Motel-Based - 579
Residence-Based Commercial Sex - 525
Online Ad Venue Unknown - 369
Street-Based - 178
Escort/Delivery Service - 134
Hostess/Strip Club-Based - 47
Truck Stop-Based - 43
Bar/Club - 33
Legalized Brothel - 3
Other - 4,185

Sex Trafficking Help
Sex Trafficking Lawyer


"Human trafficking is when an individual or group uses force, fraud, or coercion to compel another into some kind of labor, including commercial sex acts.2 Human trafficking is an egregious abuse of human rights and a critical public health issue that causes long-term harm to individuals and communities.3

The majority of individuals involved in the sex trade are consenting adults. In 2020, prostitution related offenses outnumbered those related to trafficking in the sex trade 38 to 1."

  • Trafficking victims are often prosecuted for crimes that they were forced to commit. Convictions for these crimes prevent survivors from accessing critical social resources when attempting to recover from being exploited.
  • In a 2009 study, trafficking victims reported being arrested an average of seven times during their exploitation. Encounters with the police are often cited as one of the most traumatizing experiences survivors endure.
  • Seventy-five percent of victims of sexual labor trafficking are foreign nationals who risk deportation if they are charged with a crime they were forced to commit.

From the State Department's 2023 Trafficking in Human Persons Report:

"Traffickers often target those who experience compounding forms of discrimination (such as discrimination because of one’s racial or ethnic group, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation), violence (such as intimate partner or domestic violence), or who interact with government-run programs (such as the criminal justice system, runaway and homeless youth services, foster or institutional care, and the immigration enforcement system). Traffickers compel victims to engage in commercial sex and to work in both legal and illicit industries and sectors, including in hospitality, traveling sales crews, agriculture, janitorial services, construction, landscaping, restaurants, factories and manufacturing, direct care services, salon services, massage parlors, retail, fairs and carnivals, peddling and begging, drug smuggling and distribution, religious institutions, and domestic work. Traffickers continued to use social media and other online platforms to recruit and advertise victims."

From the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

  • This is data on who was prosecuted for trafficking in the US, rather than who was trafficked. Also useful and interesting:
  • A total of 2,198 persons were referred to U.S. Attorneys for human trafficking offenses in fiscal year 2020, a 62% increase from the 1,360 persons referred in 2011.
  • The number of persons prosecuted for human trafficking increased from 729 in 2011 to 1,343 in 2020, an 84% increase.
  • The number of persons convicted of a federal human trafficking offense increased from 2011 (464 persons) to 2019 (837 persons), before falling in 2020 (658 persons).
  • Of the 1,169 defendants charged in U.S. district court with human trafficking offenses in fiscal year 2020—
    • 92% were male
    • 63% were white
    • 18% were black
    • 17% were Hispanic
    • 95% were U.S. citizens
    • 66% had no prior convictions.
  • At yearend 2020, for the 47 states that reported data, 1,564 persons were in the custody of a state prison serving a sentence for a human trafficking offense.


What Our Clients Say About Us

See All The Testimonials
The Law Firm of Tamara N Holder, LLC
Any information contained herein is not to be construed as legal advice.
Copyright © 2024, The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, All Rights Reserved