human trafficking resources


Homeland Security

What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.

Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.

Human trafficking is a hidden crime as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement.

Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.

Many myths and misconceptions exist. Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Not all indicators listed are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

The safety of the public as well as the victim is paramount. Do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. It is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking.

Human Trafficking Cambodia

IT'S a bigger business than the arms and weapons trade. It's a lot easier and more

lucrative than drug smuggling. In fact, some say, trafficking in human beings is

surpassed only by the oil industry in magnitude and revenue.

In Cambodia, women and men, children and old people alike are trafficked every day.

Some are abducted and sold into forms of slavery for as little as $30. Others pay

hundreds of dollars to people-smugglers who promise them a better, brighter future

somewhere else. Almost all end up in precarious situations, exploited by rich and

powerful trafficking lords.

The stream of the human trade flows in all directions.

Young girls are brought from their villages in the provinces to brothels in Phnom


Elderly and handicapped people are smuggled to Thailand to work as organized beggars.

The able-bodied end up as slaves working as construction workers or domestic servants.

Chinese laborers are imported to Phnom Penh for sweatshop factory work. Vietnamese

girls are bought to join their Cambodian sisters in the brothels.

Human Trafficking California

Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise and is an estimated $150 billion-a-year global industry. It is a form of modern day slavery that profits from the exploitation of our most vulnerable populations. Attorney General Becerra is focused on combating the pervasive issue of human trafficking in California and has made it one of his top priorities.

In recent years, transnational criminal organizations and affiliated domestic gangs have expanded from drug and firearm trafficking to the trafficking of human beings. From cross-border tunnels for transporting victims to domestic recruiting of vulnerable populations in our local communities, these criminal organizations have set aside traditional rivalries to set up commercial sex rings that profit from the sale of human beings, in particular young women and girls.

The perpetrators of human trafficking have become more sophisticated and organized, requiring an equally sophisticated response from law enforcement and its partners to disrupt and dismantle their networks.

Human Trafficking Global Statistics

According to a September 2017 report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Walk Free Foundation:

  • An estimated 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these, 16 million (64%) were exploited for labor, 4.8 million (19%) were sexually exploited, and 4.1 million (17%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor.
  • Forced labor takes place in many different industries. Of the 16 million trafficking victims exploited for labor
  • 7.5 million (47%) forced labor victims work in construction, manufacturing, mining, or hospitality
  • 3.8 million (24%) forced labor victims are domestic workers
  • 1.7 million (11%) forced labor victims work in agriculture 
  • 71% of trafficking victims around the world are women and girls and 29% are men and boys.
  • 15.4 million victims (75%) are aged 18 or older, with the number of children under the age of 18 estimated at 5.5 million (25%).
  • The Asia-pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced laborers— 15.4 million (62% of the global total). Africa has 5.7 million (23%) followed by Europe and Central Asia with 2.2 million (9%). The Americas account for 1.2 million (5%) and the Arab States account for 1% of all victims. 
  • Human trafficking does not always involve travel to the destination of exploitation: 2.2 million (14%) of victims of forced labor moved either internally or internationally, while 3.5 million (74%) of victims of sexual exploitation were living outside their country of residence.
  • Victims spend an average of 20 months in forced labor, although this varied with different forms of forced labor. 

California's homeless population jumps 13.7% in one year

More American homeowners are struggling to afford their homes, contributing to a growing divide between America’s haves and have-nots.

While a lack of affordability has affected every U.S. state, Californians are drowning in the nation’s most expensive housing markets. The state's homeless population jumped nearly 14% from 2016 to 2017, according to an article from The Mercury News. From the article:On any given night in California there are about 134,000 people without a home, according to annual data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That’s nearly equivalent to the population of Pasadena or Roseville sleeping on the street, on a bench or in a shelter.California’s homeless population jumped 13.7% between 2016 and 2017.And those 134,000 Californians without a place to call home are the visible edge of a much larger, much deeper housing problem in the state. “We now know that there is a very close connection between housing costs and homelessness,” said Margot Kushel, director of the University of California San Francisco Center for Vulnerable Populations.According to the article, the National Low Income Housing Coalition determined that California has only 22% of affordable and available rental homes extremely low-income households.Particularly, the city of San Francisco has become so expensive that people making 80% to 120% of the area median income ($82,900 as of April) have become susceptible to rent burden, according to the San Francisco Planning Commission.The issue has grown so much that California lawmakers are introducing proposals to tackle what many are now calling a housing crisis.Assemblyman Phil Ting D-San Francisco, chairman of the budget committee proposed spending $1.5 billion of the state's expected $6.1 billion tax revenue windfall in 2018 on matching grants to city and county homelessness programs, according to an articleby the Los Angeles Times.The article also states that separate legislation introduced from state Senator Jim Beall, D-San Jose, aims to spend $2 billion of the funds on low-income housing programs, with half of that amount reserved specifically for homelessness efforts.In January, mayors from Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco joined mayors from nine other major cities, calling on the federal government to invest more money into affordable housing and homeless services.