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Sex and human trafficking occur everywhere. These crimes are a growing problem in countries around the world, as well as in the United States. Domestically, there are reports of human trafficking in every state every year. Women, children, and men are being recruited through ruses, psychological manipulation, and force, and held against their will. They […]

Where Does Sex And Human Trafficking Occur The Most? Sex and human trafficking occur in every state and around the world.

Sex and human trafficking occur everywhere. These crimes are a growing problem in countries around the world, as well as in the United States. Domestically, there are reports of human trafficking in every state every year. Women, children, and men are being recruited through ruses, psychological manipulation, and force, and held against their will. They are being forced to perform unwanted labor or sex work, or both in some cases.

The Most Populous States Also Have the Most Human Trafficking Reports

There are reports of human and sex trafficking from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as many U.S. territories each year. The states with the most frequent reports, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, are also the top-four states based on population. These include:

  • Texas
  • Florida
  • New York
  • California

Most other states where human and sex trafficking is relatively more prevalent are also highly populated. This shows that supply and demand for human and sex trafficking victims may not vary drastically across the country. This is a worrying statistic because it demonstrates that this issue is not bound to just one culture, population, or geographical area. The remaining top-ten states where human trafficking reports are most prevalent include:

  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • Georgia
  • Nevada
  • Illinois
  • North Carolina

Sex and Human Trafficking Occurs in Both Urban and Rural Areas

Sex and human trafficking occur in many metropolitan areas across the county, especially those linked by one or more interstate highways. This makes it easier to identify potential victims, obtain and harbor them, and transport them to another area. This includes Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Houston.

However, it is naive to assume this is a problem that only occurs in the city. Agricultural areas also have reports of human trafficking, as do suburbs, small towns, rural areas, and other locations.  

Many Human Trafficking Victims Are Foreign-Born

Some victims were likely recruited in their home county and brought to the United States for sex and human trafficking. Just over half of the reports of human trafficking involved victims who were citizens of the United States or legal permanent residents. Others are citizens of Mexico, the Philippines, or other Latin, Asian, or African countries.

Some of these foreign nationals may have been in the United States when the trafficker recruited them. However, many victims of sex and human trafficking ring transport their victims:

  • To or from neighboring states
  • Across the country or to a nearby major city
  • To neighboring countries
  • Across continents and to other continents

Traffickers know it is easier to recruit and obtain someone who is already vulnerable, so they often target the most at-risk populations. This may include:

  • Runaways
  • Homeless young people
  • Victims of other types of violence
  • Foster home youth
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Those displaced because of a natural disaster or other crisis
  • Those who cannot speak English
  • Undocumented individuals with no support system in the United States

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the traffickers use violence, force, coercion, psychological manipulation, and other tactics to lure victims in and force them to participate in unwanted sex acts, illegal activities, or labor.

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