Source: Global Freedom Centre website/Quick facts


  • Confirmed trafficking cases have occurred in agriculture, mining, fishing, garment factories, child care, cleaning services, hospitality, housekeeping, elder care, manufacturing, construction, street prostitution, escort services, and brothels.
  • Men, women and children are held in forced labor, also referred to as labor trafficking.
  • Men, women, boys and girls are subjected to sex trafficking.
  • Men, women, boys and girls held in forced labor can be subjected to sexual violence.


  • Estimates of human trafficking worldwide range from 20.9 to 27 million victims.
  • Of the 27 million enslaved, only 46,570 were identified in 2012 – less than 1%.
  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that of the millions of victims 68% are held in forced labor exploitation, 22% in forced sexual exploitation and 10% in state-imposed forced labor.
  • More people are trafficked for labor than commercial sex yet of the 4,746 global criminal convictions of traffickers, 4,228 were sex traffickers.
  • The ILO estimates that women and girls comprise 55% of all those in forced labor and 98% of all those in sex trafficking, whereas men and boys comprise 45% of those in forced labor and 2% of those in sex trafficking.


  • Traffickers use dehumanising tactics to compel service such as physical force, but often more subtle devices like psychological coercion, threats and outright fraud.
  • Physical force can include physical and sexual violence as well as forced drug use, barbed wire, locked doors and other methods of confinement.
  • Psychological coercion has proven to be just as powerful if not more powerful than physical force, creating invisible barriers to a trafficked person’s escape. This includes confiscation of immigration and identification documents coupled with threats of jail and deportation, threats of harm to trafficked persons and their family members, and threats to tell family members and community that the sex trafficked person is in prostitution, which would bring shame. Traffickers play mind games by suggesting that the compelled service violates criminal and immigration laws, making trafficked persons’ think they are criminals and fear law enforcement, effectively blocking law enforcement as a resource.
  • Inhumane treatment, coupled with other factors, can break an individual’s spirit, which reinforces the traffickers’ power over them. Trafficked persons may endure unspeakable hardships such as lack of health care, malnutrition, insults and ridicule, hazardous working conditions, inadequate clothing, unsafe living conditions, long hours, low or no wages and much more.

CNN Freedom Project to end modern day slavery
Human Goods, online magazine about worldwide slavetrade
Global Freedom Centre

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