Feb 18 2021

Trafficking of human beings is a worldwide problem, but not just overseas. The 2012 study by the Department of State Trafficking in Persons reports that the US is a leading country for men, women, and children, slave labor, debt slavery, enforced serfdom, and trafficking in women or children—both US residents and foreign nationals.

The illicit existence of trade in human beings and the under-reporting of violence make it often impossible to ascertain precisely where this awful crime is most widespread in the United States. California, New York, and Texas are the top three countries with the most trafficking in human beings.


California Against Slavery has confirmed that California is home to 3 of America's 10 worst child sex trafficking areas: San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Owing to its massive immigration and booming foreign markets, smugglers are attracted to California, which is now the 9th largest economy in the world. For smugglers, human slavery is rather beneficial. The average sex trafficker in Los Angeles will make $49,000 per victim in jail. California is a hotbed not only for the trafficking of minors but forced labor, trafficking in sex, and unintended slavery. Several people trafficked to California are coming to serve as slaves in sweatshops or on farms because they are conveniently accessible to the frontier between California and Mexico.

New York

New York City remains the largest center for trafficking in human beings. Secure Horizons states this, 'because of the massive immigrant community, the proximity to foreign ports, and the concentration of both formal and informal enterprises that can significant abuses of labor rights.' New York City has one of the highest rates of domestic sex trafficking in the world, due to a huge number of homeless, runaways, and foster care youth. The Polaris Project reports that in just one residential facility alone in New York City 70-80 trafficked minors have been identified in 8 years.


Texas has become a center of human smuggling, thanks to its location, immigrant population, and huge economy, just like the rest of California and New York. The media depicts trafficking in human beings in Texas as Mexicans trafficking slave labor across borders, but Freedom Place paints a very new picture. Houston has about 6,000 rushing young people and about 1 in three rushes is drawn to human slavery within 48 hours of being gone. Almost 30 percent of calling on the National Sex Trafficking Hotline to track domestic trafficking is from Texas. Houston, Texas, is home to the highest number of young people at risk of slavery.

In all aspects of human trafficking in the United States, sex trafficking, slave labor, child labor, child sex trafficking, and servitude are found. With the US being one of the world's most important destinations for victims of the trafficking of human beings the crisis has reached global proportions. The Leading States with Sex Trafficking are California, New York and Texas, but they're not the only states to get people trafficked. Regardless of the state or nation, trafficking in human beings is a growing global problem which must be halted.

Vulnerability, effect and intervention - three core themes are grouped in the Vienna Forum, representing the main concerns which must be tackled in an effective plan for combating trafficking: Why does trafficking occur? What are the implications? In addition, what steps should be taken? The plenary sessions and seminars include attendees, in order to establish detailed intervention plans and to conduct specific actions, with each subject the occasion to review in greater depth.

1.Vulnerability: why does human trafficking happen?

Traffickers are being subjected to hungry, isolated, and fragile people. Disadvantages, social isolation, and economic insecurity are the product of policies and activities that marginalize and disproportionately susceptible to trafficking in whole classes of people. The tiny social security programs already undermine natural disasters, wars, and political turbulence. Persons in their country of birth are vulnerable to slavery, however, not just because of the situation. The lucrative prospects, the constant demand for cheap goods and services, and the anticipation of steady earnings put people at risk of exploitation in potentially risky circumstances. The Vienna Forum will explore emerging concepts and policies about trafficking prevention and will extend the policy influence of current prevention initiatives by focusing on reducing vulnerability.

2. Impact: the human and social consequences of human trafficking

Trafficking has compelling human and societal implications. The effect on the person and on culture is obviously devastating and inacceptable, from the physical violence and torture of victims to the psychological and emotional suffering and the economic and political consequences. The Vienna Forum will address the impacts on the lives of people and their families of sex trafficking. Participants will share perspectives and discuss the impact on victims of human trafficking, including abuse, adverse health consequences, social isolation and risk of victimization.

3. Action: innovative approaches to solving complex problems

A holistic diplomatic strategy to tackle trafficking in human beings is provided by the Trafficking Protocol. However, it remains uneven to enforce the steps mentioned in the Protocol. Lacking transparency, including simple terminology and meanings, political considerations at the national level, and confusion as to what interventions function and which have not led to the inability to enforce them systematically and effectively, and sustainably. Participants will evaluate major global anti-trafficking policies and domestic responses, exchange experience and recognize best practice components.

The Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking

UN GIFT has provided a global conference to be held in the Austrian capital from 13 to 15 February 2008, the Vienna Forum to Combat Sex Trafficking. This forum is a rare venue for members from the Member States, UN bodies, NGOs and foreign organizations, companies, academia, the public sector, and civil society to meet. The Vienna Forum is a visible step in consolidating momentum and political will for the Global Initiative's goals.

The Forum aims primarily to improve exposure to all aspects of trafficking, promote co-operation and collaborations between members, assess progress, and offer recommendations on follow-up steps for preventing and combating the trafficking of human beings. The Panel also assesses the lessons learned on the scale of the topic and on the steps taken to deal with trafficking in people. It creates a transparent forum in which all interested actors can take meaningful steps to tackle human trafficking in their realms.

Recent News


In the US, men and women, adults, children and international people and US citizens are the victims of this violence. Victims of sex trafficking should be split up into three populations in line with US law: Commercially inducing minors under the age of 18. Force, deceit or coercion coerced adults ...


Cultural gaps, fear of smugglers, and/or fear of law enforcement also deter victims from finding assistance and from hiding the crime of sex trafficking. Force, bribery, or compulsion are used by smugglers to attract and force their victims into labor or trade slavery. They are searching at individuals who are vulner...


However, there is evidence available to prove that when dealing with individuals inside a country's borders is included in the count, more individuals are trafficked by staff than by sex. The secret character of the trade-in humans prohibits a specific number of victims around the world. While labor trafficking and sex tra...