top of page
Human Development, web banner.jpg

Background

Women, men, and children in the U.S. and around the world are subjected to forced labor, domestic servitude and the sex trade at the hands of human traffickers. Pope Francis and other faith leaders have condemned human trafficking, calling it a crime against humanity, a scourge and an open wound in contemporary society.

  • There are an estimated 43 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, with the majority trapped in situations of labor trafficking.(1)

  • Each year, an estimated 17,500 men, women, and children are trafficked across U.S. borders and forced into slavery.(2)

  • Unfortunately, stakeholders have increasingly found that individuals in situations of forced migration, such as refugees and unaccompanied children, are particularly vulnerable to labor and sex traffickers.(3)

  • Victim identification remains a significant challenge to U.S. efforts to prevent trafficking, prosecute perpetrators, and protect victims. 

  • In Fiscal Year 2022, the Department of Homeland Security conducted 1,836 forensic interviews, 369 of which were tied to human trafficking. The Department of Justice provided services to victims of human trafficking in 599 cases.(4)

  • Although sex trafficking remains a serious problem, foreign victims are more often found in situations of labor trafficking.(5) In fact, the largest case of human trafficking in U.S. history involved labor trafficking in Hawai’i.(6) 

1https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang--en/index.htm

2https://sgp.fas.org/crs/row/RL34317.pdf

3https://www.caritas.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/CoatnetParis15Report.pdf

4https://www.state.gov/reports/2023-trafficking-in-persons-report/united-states

5https://humantraffickinghotline.org/en/human-trafficking/myths-facts

6https://www.civilbeat.org/2010/09/4084-largest-human-trafficking-case-in-us-history-filed-in-honolulu/#:~:text=Largest%20Human%20Trafficking%20Case%20in%20U.S.%20History%20Filed%20in%20Honolulu,-By%20Sara%20Lin&text=Reading%20time%3A%205%20minutes.&text=A%20federal%20grand%20jury%20in,New%20York%20and%20other%20states.

Church Documents

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Early Church Fathers

bottom of page