There are more people enslaved today than at any other time in history.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

—William Wilberforce

What is Human Trafficking?

The most widely accepted definition of human trafficking comes from United Nation’s Palermo Protocols. This definition was accepted by the UN General Assembly in 2000 and is the international definition accepted by over 150 countries. It reads as follows:

“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”

According to estimates from the International Labour Organization, the human trafficking industry generates 32 billion U.S. dollars every year. Half of this amount comes from industrialized countries, and a third is generated in Asia. Trafficking can occur both within a country and trans-nationally. Because people can literally be sold again and again, trafficking is the world’s fastest growing crime.




The recruitment, transfer, transportation, harboring or receipt of persons . . .



The threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or position of vulnerability or giving or receiving of payments or benefits . . .



To achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the PURPOSE of EXPLOITATION.

Types of Exploitation

Exploitation is at the heart of every form of human trafficking. It involves the gravest type of injustice: the use of power to oppress.



A form of human trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform the act has not attained 18 years of age. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, sex trafficking makes up 79% of all trafficking. 




Also known as involuntary servitude, a form of trafficking in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as accumulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities.



A form of human trafficking in which an individual is forced to work in order to pay off a debt.

Where it Happens

Human trafficking occurs in every corner of the globe. It occurs in every country, every city, and in many towns. According to the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State, human trafficking is most prevalent in North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, The Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Eurasia. The International Labor Office estimates that there are 40 million people enslaved worldwide.

40 million enslaved

Human trafficking is highly prevalent in the United States. The total number of victims nationally reaches into the hundreds of thousands. Human trafficking often occurs in high-population areas that are hubs for international travel and that have large immigrant populations.

The Victims

Men, women, and children from every ethnicity and every fabric of society are victims of human trafficking. The International Labour Organization estimates that 25% (10 million) of victims are men, 25% are children (10 million), and 75% are women and girls (30 million).


75% are women and girls

In the U.S., it is estimated that between 240,000-325,000 children are at risk for sex trafficking each year. Put another way, 1 out of every 6 children who are runaways are likely victims of sex trafficking.

It’s Effects

Human Trafficking is one of the gravest human rights abuses in history, and it’s effects are deeply shattering on the mind, body, and soul. Victims face brutal physical, sexual, and psychological violence every day.

Rescue is only the the beginning of freedom for survivors of human trafficking. This is why survivors deserve the opportunity for restoration. Catalyst Ministries works to rescue and provide a safe haven for women who have been abused, exploited, and enslaved. 

Victims Face Brutal Violence