Human Trafficking of Children in the United States Fact Sheet

Contrary to a common assumption, human trafficking is not just a problem in other countries. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and some U.S. territories. Victims of human trafficking can be children or adults, U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, male or female.

According to U.S. government estimates, thousands of men, women, and children are trafficked to the United States for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. An unknown number of U.S. citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the country primarily for sexual servitude and, to a lesser extent, forced labor.

via U.S. Department of Education.

In addition to a list of resources and publications, the Human Trafficking of Children in the United States Fact Sheet for Schools (pdf) also answers the following questions:

  • What Is Human Trafficking?
  • What Is the Extent of Human Trafficking in the United States ?
  • How Does Human Trafficking Affect Our Schools?
  • How Do I Identify a Victim of Human Trafficking?
  • How Do I Report a Suspected Incidence of Human Trafficking?
  • How Does the United States Help Victims of Human Trafficking?


  1. Thanks for the sobering reality check that a day like today can brig to us. Its so simple in the consumer driven society we have created and choose to live in to forget what happens behind the shiny exterior of that glitzy society. I was fortunate enough to see a television show on SBS TV Australia over the Christmas period regrding ethical giving that has had me contemplating the ethics behind so much that we do, consume, and see each day.

    I’ll do what I can with my limited resources to raise awareness of the cause and this website from the other side of the globe.

    Again, thanks for the reality and sobrierty the day brings.

    Congratulations on your endeavors!

    • Not that I’m against stopping child slavery, but what is it that makes this problem seem so important to you? Shouldn’t we focus on the slavery in the United States before we go ahead and try to stop it elsewhere? Like I said, I’m not for slavery, especially child slavery, but I like to hear the motives of others. By the way, have you found ways to raise awareness to the cause of child slavery in Haiti? If so, please let me know.

      • Raise awareness in Haiti.. Because it feels better to help those not on our door steps? I know the devastating effects of this. I was not sold but ignored. It is here and more than we could ever dream. There is a HUGE difference between prostitution of an adult and what happens to a child

  2. I would like to help with anything that i can in this sick and in humane area that people are being treated. as a victim of violent rape and the treatmen that is associated with this topic, i am very sensitive with helping other victims and with children of abuse and missing. i am a mother of missing children and i have helped with rescue and with the big brother and big sister, my certificate is needed to be updated. i have an injury from abuse and i am currently under the care of doctors. but to regain my suvior and to gain my law degree and social work, along with the journalism degrees that i have been working for. you may contact me at any time thank you.

    • Wow… it sounds like you have been through a lot and certainly know a lot in the field of helping to stop child slavery and abuse. How long have your children been missing? If you don’t mind me asking, what race are you? I am curious to find out if, like the old days, being of a darker skin color inclines people to think that it is okay to mistreat that person. If you are uncomfortable answering that question, I completely understand. I just wanted to know out of pure curiousity. I hope that one day we can stop this inhumane and intolerable cause and I also hope that you find your children.

    • Hello: Isabella I am so sorry for your pain! My heart goes out to you. I am amazed by your strength of character. Even though you have been hurt severely you still care enough to reach out to others.
      I will never understand why bad things happen in this world. I pray every day that all the bad things will end.
      I wish you the best and hope for your success and happiness – always.

    • I would imagine that with your journalism degrees etc that you would know how to spell. Do not take advantage of those who need strength.

  3. I think Adults should have more respect for children. The only reason younger girls get involved with commercial sex is b/c its offered to them by adults. Grow up and get a life. Using children in this kind of matter is a honest to God disgrace! Anyone involved with human TRAFFICKING should be ashamed of how they are labeling our country. Human TRAFFICKING labels USA as a “sex obssesed” and “free asn easy” country!

    • Sbo tough!! It is not just girls by the way.. Girls get involved because they have no other choose not because it is “offered”.

  4. Such a big endeavour to take but i believe we must start in our own country. This is world wide and has been an issue for 1000’s of years. It is so very upsetting however every child saved is a bonus.

    • by helping children in other countries we help our own. the type of people involved w/child abuse/trafficking run in the same circles. when we take down a ring in one country we learn a lot about making it stop in our country.
      I do not know a lot about this subject. I have been hearing about it more and more via television shows such as Law and Order. It’s great to see “Hollywood” bring such issues to light.
      One way we can help America with it’s human trafficking problems is by getting more involved.This site may be a good place to get started.
      I have been writing letters which is something all of us should do rather we have the time or not. peace.

  5. Stiffer penalties for trafficers could help. These are human lives we are dealing with and we treat drug dealers with stronger laws. Don’t let child molesters out on our streets.

    • Agreed! Stiffer laws are needed right away! Kidnap and enslave a child or adult and the punishment ought to be “terminal” imho

  6. It is great to see people who are willing to get involved and inform others to bring an end to human trafficking. It really is a reality to check for the rest of us. We all need to work together to end, not only modern slavery, but also the inappropriate labels that such actions place upon today’s youth. It is so sad to see such things happen to young, helpless children, and equally disturbing to see it happen to adults.

    If you are interested in learning more about the facts of human trafficking in today’s society, check out this video of an interview with Mary Burke, from the Project to End Human Trafficking.

  7. This topic breaks my heart on a daily basis. I just watched a show of Law and Order tonight. Rich married couples were “adopting” children from other countries and making them clean their homes, yard work and cooking. They were not educating or meeting their health needs and many were under nourished! I imagine this is a real case scenario!! It’s just gross!!
    The sickest part is that the couples felt justified because they felt they were taking them out of a horrible situation where their lives were in danger daily. And therefore, making them house slaves was by far better than where and how they had been living.
    It makes me wonder just how common this type of situation is in America.
    I am willing to do anything to help. Feel free to contact me any time.
    Peace to all and … hey let’s STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING!

    • I think I just saw that same episode. To think that in this day and age we as a people still have this little regard for human dignity.

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