Sex Trafficking Statistics [2024 Data] – Who Do Sex Traffickers Prey On?

Sex trafficking is a global problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is a form of modern slavery in which individuals are recruited, transported, and exploited for profit.

The statistics on sex trafficking are alarming, with estimates suggesting that millions of people are trafficked for sexual exploitation every year.

In this article, you will learn about the disturbing facts and figures on sex trafficking, including the number of people affected by this crime, its red flags, and the factors that contribute to its growth.

sex trafficking statistics

Key Sex Trafficking Statistics

  • The global market value of the sex trafficking industry is estimated to be $150 Billion per year.
  • It is estimated that only 1% of sex trafficking victims are ever rescued.
  • The majority of sex trafficking victims are trafficked by someone they know, such as a family member, friend, or partner.
  • The average age of entry into prostitution is between 12 and 14 years old.
  • It is estimated that there are 24.9 Million victims of sex trafficking globally.
  • 65% of sex trafficking victims are women and girls.
  • 35% of sex trafficking victims are men and boys. 
  • 15.1 million of sex trafficking victims are from the Asia-Pacific region 
  • 4.1 million of sex trafficking victims are from Africa and Europe
  • 3.8 million are from Central Asia
  • The top three countries of origin for sex trafficking victims are India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, North Korea, and Bangladesh.
  • 15,000 to 50,000 children and young adults are trafficked for sexual exploitation every year in the United States.

How Common is Sex Trafficking?

It is difficult to accurately estimate the prevalence of sex trafficking because it is a hidden crime that often goes undetected. However, it is widely acknowledged as a serious global problem that affects millions of people around the world.

According to the International Labor Organization, there are an estimated 24.9 million people trapped in modern slavery as a result of sex trafficking, with the majority being women and girls. Sex trafficking is especially prevalent in developing countries, but it also occurs in developed countries.

  • In the United States, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 51,326 reports of human trafficking in 2021, with the majority of cases involving sex trafficking.
  • There are an estimated 24.9 million sex trafficking victims worldwide.
  • In Canada, there are between 1,500 and 2,200 victims of sex trafficking in the country at any given time.
  • About 15,000 to 50,000 children and young adults are trafficked for sexual exploitation every year in the United States.

How Many Sex Slaves are there in the World?

It is difficult to estimate the exact number of people who are being exploited as sex slaves, as this is a hidden crime that is often not detected. However, it is clear that sex trafficking is a widespread problem that affects millions of people around the world.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are 4.8 million victims of sexual exploitation, which includes both sexual slavery and sex trafficking.

Where is Sex Trafficking Most Common?

Sex trafficking can happen in any country, and traffickers often operate across international borders. However, some countries and regions are more vulnerable to sex trafficking due to various factors such as poverty, conflict, and lack of strong law enforcement.

It is most common in areas where there is poverty, conflict, and a weak rule of law, as these conditions create an environment in which traffickers can operate with impunity.

  • India has the highest number of people affected by sex trafficking in the world, with an estimated 4.1 million people trapped in modern slavery.
  • The Asia-Pacific region accounts for over 70% of all trafficking victims worldwide.
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans are particularly affected by sex trafficking, with countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine being major source countries for victims.
  • In the Middle East, countries such as Syria and Yemen have been identified as major sources of sex trafficking victims.

Who has the Highest Rate of Human Trafficking?

  • India: 14 Million Sex Trafficking Victims
    China: 3.2 Million Sex Trafficking Victims
  • Pakistan: 2.1 Million Sex Trafficking Victims
  • Nigeria: Around 2 Million Sex Trafficking Victims
  • North Korea: Around 1.5 Million Sex Trafficking Victims

What are the Top 10 Cities for Human Trafficking?

It is difficult to identify the top 10 cities for human trafficking, as this is a hidden crime that often goes undetected. Human trafficking can occur in any city, and it is a global problem that affects every region in the world. That being said, some cities are known to have a higher prevalence of human trafficking.

Here are a few examples of cities that have been identified as being at high risk for human trafficking:

Mumbai

Mumbai is a major hub for human trafficking due to its large population and high demand for cheap labor and commercial sex.

Mexico City

Mexico City is a hub for human trafficking due to its location on the border with the United States as well as the high demand for cheap labor and commercial sex in the city.

Manila

Manila is a major hub for human trafficking due to its high demand for cheap labor and commercial sex, as well as its large population and high levels of poverty.

New Delhi

New Delhi is a major hub for human trafficking due to its large population and high demand for cheap labor and commercial sex.

Bangkok

Bangkok is a major hub for human trafficking due to its high demand for cheap labor and commercial sex, as well as its large population and high levels of poverty.

Istanbul

Istanbul is a major hub for human trafficking due to its location on the border with Europe and the high demand for cheap labor and commercial sex.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is a major hub for human trafficking due to its high demand for cheap labor and commercial sex, as well as its large population and high levels of poverty.

Moscow

Moscow is a major hub for human trafficking due to its high demand for cheap labor and commercial sex, as well as its large population and high levels of poverty.

New York City

New York City is a major hub for human trafficking due to its large population and diverse economy, which creates a demand for cheap labor and commercial sex.

What Age do Sex Traffickers Target?


Children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation in the sex trade.

However, adults are also at risk of being exploited. Both men and women can be victims of sex trafficking, and it is important to recognize and address the needs of all victims of this form of abuse and exploitation.

Sex traffickers often target vulnerable individuals who are seeking a better life or who are in a situation of desperation. This can include children, young women, and men who are from marginalized or impoverished communities, as well as migrants and refugees.

What is the Average Age of a Child who is Trafficked?

  • The average age of entry into the sex trade is between 12 and 14 years old.
  • Around 5.5 million children are victims of sexual exploitation worldwide.
  • Around 1 in 3 Sex Trafficking victims worldwide are children.
  • In the United States, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 6,592 reports of child sex trafficking in 2020.
  • 19% of Child Sex Trafficking victims are from the age of 9 to 17 years old.
  • Only 4% of Child Sex Trafficking Victims are from the age of 1-8 years old.

What Age is Sex Trafficking Most Common?

  • Around 80% of the Sex Trafficking victims around the world are estimated to be adults.
  • Around 20% of the Sex Trafficking victims worldwide are Adult men.
  • Women are estimated to make up more than 50% of sex trafficking victims worldwide.
  • 19% of the trafficking victims are between 9 and 17 years old.
  • 18% of the trafficking victims are between 30 and 38 years old.
  • 12% of the trafficking victims are between 18 and 23 years old.
  • 11% of the trafficking victims are between 24 and 26 years old.
  • 9% of the trafficking victims are between 27 and 29 years old.
  • 8% of the trafficking victims are between 39 and 47 years old.
  • 5% of the trafficking victims are above the age of 48.
  • 4% of the trafficking victims are between 0 to 8 years old.

What Gender is Most Likely to Get Trafficked?

Human trafficking can affect people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. However, certain groups may be more vulnerable to trafficking due to a variety of factors, such as poverty, social exclusion, lack of education, discrimination, and conflict.


For example, women and girls may be more vulnerable to trafficking for sexual exploitation, while men and boys may be more vulnerable to trafficking for forced labor. Children are particularly at risk of being trafficked, as they may be more vulnerable to manipulation and less able to defend themselves against exploitation.

What Percentage of Trafficking Victims are Female?

Sex trafficking affects both men and women, although women and girls are mainly affected by this form of abuse and exploitation. It is difficult to accurately estimate the prevalence of sex trafficking by gender, as this is a hidden crime that is often difficult to detect.

However, some studies have attempted to estimate the prevalence of sex trafficking by gender in different regions of the world.

  • Women and girls make up 65% of the victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation worldwide.
  • In the United States, the majority (80%) of sex trafficking victims involved females.
  • Above 90% of females are sex trafficked for sexual exploitation.
  • 99% of the trafficking victims in 2016 were women and girls.
  • Most female victims are between the age of 18 and 20.

Do Men Get Sex trafficked?

Although it is widely believed that this crime solely affects one gender, this is not true at all. Men have always been a target for sex traffickers and continue to be so. However, they are less in number as compared to women.

They are affected by forced labor trafficking, which often involves the exploitation of men in the construction, agriculture, and fishing industries. Men can also be vulnerable to sex trafficking in the context of migration and displacement.

Here are some facts and figures that portray the percentage of men as Sex Trafficking victims:

  • Men make up around 20% of sex trafficking victims detected globally.
  • A study estimated that around 20% of children who are commercially sexually exploited in the United States are male.
  • The highest % of male trafficking victims are from the higher age group.
  • 25% of the sex trafficking victims in 2012 globally were men.
  • 36% of the sex trafficking victims in 2016 were boys.
  • 29% of the sex trafficking victims globally are both men and boys.

What are the Red Flags and Indicators of Human Trafficking?

What are the 5 warning signs of human trafficking? What happens to the men who are sex trafficked? There are many red flags and indicators that may indicate that someone is a victim of human trafficking. Some common red flags include:

Control of Identification Documents

The person is not in control of their own identification documents, such as their passport or ID card.

Lack of Freedom

The person is not free to come and go as they please, and they may be accompanied by someone who controls their movements.

Fearfulness

The person is not able to communicate freely, or they may appear to be fearful or anxious.

Signs of Abuse

The person has not dressed appropriately for their work, and they may appear malnourished or have injuries or scars that suggest they have been physically abused.

Lack of Personal Possessions

The person is working long hours for little or no pay, and they may not have any personal possessions.

Who do Sex Traffickers Prey on?

Who is more likely to be sex trafficked? What type of people do human traffickers look for?

According to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, Sex traffickers can target people of any age, gender, or background. However, they often prey on people who are vulnerable in some way, such as those who are homeless, living in poverty, or have a history of abuse. Sex traffickers may also target people who are in search of love or companionship, or who are seeking to escape from a difficult situation.

They may use a variety of tactics to lure victims, such as false promises of a better life or job opportunities, or offering drugs or alcohol to manipulate people. They may also use violence, threats, or manipulation to control victims.

Some other factors that may make people more vulnerable to being targeted by human traffickers include:

Lack of education

People who are not aware of the risks or who do not have access to information about safe migration practices may be more likely to fall victim to traffickers.

Social isolation

People who are isolated from their families or communities may be more vulnerable to exploitation, as they may have fewer social supports to turn to for help.

Displacement

People who are displaced due to conflict, natural disasters, or other factors may be more at risk of being trafficked, as they may be in search of shelter, food, or other basic necessities.

How to Know if You Are Being Targeted for Human Trafficking?

How do sex traffickers groom their victims? How do you not get trafficked? What tactics do human traffickers use? We will explain everything below.

It is important to be aware of the signs that you may be at risk of being targeted for human trafficking so that you can take steps to protect yourself and seek help if necessary.

Here are a few signs that you may be at risk of being targeted for human trafficking:

Suspicious Job or Travel Opportunity

You are approached by someone who tries to build a relationship with you, and who asks you to trust them or keep secrets from your friends and family.

Substance Abuse

You are given drugs or alcohol, or you are promised access to these substances, in exchange for performing a service or favor.

Uncomfortable Activities

You are asked to perform tasks or activities that make you feel uncomfortable, or that violate your personal values.

Threats or Intimidation

You are threatened or intimidated by someone who has power or control over you, or who has threatened to harm you or your loved ones.

Isolation

You are made to feel isolated or alone, and you do not have access to support or resources.

Sources

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