Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

Masthead header

7 Basic Facts about Human Trafficking

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Human Trafficking.  Those are big, ugly words.

trafficked copy

I hear from friends all the time that they are very interested in this topic, but that they have no idea where to start.

I don’t claim to be an expert, and there is still so much to understand. I’ve spent the past four years ordering curriculum, attending conferences, and reading articles to try and understand the beast of modern-day slavery.

My hope is that this post will give you some foundational truths about human trafficking as a whole. There’s no way to include every important detail here.

For more information on the topic, I suggest checking out Polaris Project, Love146, and Not for Sale. There are great educational resources here to help you better understand what’s happening in brothels, massage parlors, and basements worldwide.

But please stop here {just for a couple of days.}

I want to warn you that as you read such repulsive material, you will feel a nauseating anger in the pit of your stomach.

You will want to call everyone you know and donate your latest paycheck to whatever non-profit’s website you happen to be visiting.

Please be patient.

There is definitely an urgency to act. There is a call to rescue. I want you to do that.

But I want you to internalize this information first. I want you to pray about the ways God can use your generosity to bring real-life girls and boys out of horrifying situations.

On Sunday, I will publish a post about an organization that is doing just that. Your funds can go to the direct search and rescue of victims in Southeast Asia, India, and the United States.

For now, here are seven fast facts to introduce you to the issue of human trafficking.

1.    There are currently 27 million slaves worldwide. This means there are more slaves today than there were during the African Slave Trade {think history books…1800s…Southern plantations…}. More recent figures actually project this number to be closer to 30 million. Also, this number is an estimate. It’s not like pimps walk around volunteering information about how many women and children they are actually exploiting. {via}

2.    Human Trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of victims of exploitation. Traffickers use force, deception, coercion, and abuse of power to enslave prostitutes, forced laborers, or even organ donors. {via}

3.    There are two main types of human trafficking: sex and labor. Sex trafficking often looks like prostitution, whereas labor trafficking is prevalent in textile factories and agricultural work. In the United States, trafficking rings operate under covers like escort services, massage parlors, Craigslist or Backpage personal ads, and truck stops. {via}

4.    Human trafficking is a $32-BILLION-a-year industry. After drug dealing, trafficking of persons and arms {weapon} dealing are tied for the second-largest criminal industries in the world. {via}

5.    A pimp is a person who controls prostitutes and arranges clients for them, taking part of the earnings in return. Pimps are not always men – sometimes they are women who have been prostituted and trafficked themselves. By the way, please stop calling your buddy pimp, stop saying your car is pimped out, and for the love, stop dressing up like a pimp for Halloween. {via}

6.    When a person is trafficked, a pimp will often introduce them to addictive substances quickly. Drug abuse is rampant among victims of human trafficking. Women are often so dependent on substances that they cannot escape from their trafficker who supplies their expensive habit. {via}

7.    Human trafficking does not just affect women. It’s becoming more and more common for young boys and men to be sold to pedophiles and those with homosexual preferences. Perpetrators will pay much higher prices for encounters with young boys. {via}


Now that you are fully discouraged and disgusted, it’s time to sit on it. Read more from the above websites if you desire. Pray about the victims who, at this moment, are living in a modern-day hell.

Share this post with others you know who share your burden. Educate those around you about the nightmares of human trafficking.

Then on Sunday, let’s come together and take action.

We can fight this battle with our minds and our wallets, empowering the men and women on the front lines of abolition to kick down the doors of brothels and place victims into the hands of recovery.



Tom O'NealJanuary 17, 2014 - 1:50 am

Thanks for making people aWARE OF THIS!!!

Lisa EdmondsonJanuary 17, 2014 - 7:11 pm

There is a lady in New Zealand that has set up an organisation that helps girls in Cambodia to get education. Because parents are very poor in the areas that she works they would sell their daughters to traffickers in order to get money and then everything mentioned in this blog were happening to these young girls. This organisation ensures that these families get enough money to live from and can get an education for the girls. Which is helping in these areas

[…] There are many organizations that exist to raise awareness about human trafficking. You can always check out some of the resources I shared in this post. […]