Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purpose of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor or a modern-day form of slavery.

While there is no universally accepted definition of trafficking for sexual exploitation, the term encompasses the organized movement, usually women, between countries and within countries for sex work with the use of physical coercion, deception and bondage through forced debt.

Today, slavery and human trafficking is banned all over the world. The 1984 Universal Declaration of Human Rights banned slavery completely, it says “no one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all forms.”

Yet this idea of a completely free world with no form of slavery in practice still requires much effort to be achieved.

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is designated as the agency responsible for helping victims of human trafficking become eligible to receive benefits and services so they may rebuild their lives safely in the U.S. As part of this effort, HHS has initiated the Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking campaign to help identify and assist victims of human trafficking in the United States.

The intent of the Rescue & Restore campaign is to increase the number of identified trafficking victims and to help those victims receive the benefits and services needed to live safely in the U.S. The first phase of the campaign focuses on outreach to those individuals who most likely encounter victims on a daily basis, but may not recognize them as victims of human trafficking. By initially educating health care providers, social service organizations and the law enforcement community about the issue of human trafficking, we hope to encourage these intermediaries to look beneath the surface by recognizing clues and asking the right questions because they may be the only outsiders with the chance to reach out and help victims.


Human Trafficking Facts:

  •  There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history.
  •  There are an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world who are victims of human trafficking.
  •  Estimates of 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, neglect, torture and disease.
  •  Eighty percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under the age of 24, and some as young as six.
  •  Although human trafficking is often a hidden crime and accurate statistics are difficult to obtain, researchers estimate that more than 80% of trafficked victims are female and over 50% are children.
  •  UNICEF estimates that 300,000 children younger than 18 are currently trafficked to serve in armed conflicts worldwide.
  •  Human trafficking around the globe is estimated to generate a profit anywhere from $9 billion to $31.6 billion. Half of these profits are made in industrialized nations.

Ending human trafficking and supporting its victims is one of the Murphy Initiative’s main concerns. At our 2010 spring conference, we were fortunate to have Sidney Ford, founder of YANA (You Are Not Alone) as one of our facilitators. In July, 2011 the Murphy Initiative attended the 6th Annual Children Uniting nations National Conference “Keeping the Promise to our Children” at the U.S. Capitol.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with the national Campaign to Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking and locally the efforts of Turn Around as well as the international organization Children Uniting Nations.

Campaign to Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking:

CNN Freedom Project:

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women:

Innocents At Risk:

Verizon Hopeline