What is human trafficking?

Human Trafficking is defined as the use of force, fraud, or coercion in order to recruit, harbor or transport a person solely for the purpose of exploitation. Human trafficking, also referred to as modern day slavery, can be found in many forms including sexual exploitation, bonded labor, domestic servitude, and child soldiers.

Who are the people being trafficked?

It is estimated that between 27 and 30 million people are enslaved worldwide. 80% are believed to be female, 50% are believed to be minors.

Trafficked persons in the United States can be men or women, adults or children, foreign nationals or US citizens, any age and socio-economic background. 

Why does human trafficking exist?

Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry. As the demand for sex and cheap products rises, so does the prevalence of modern day slavery. Poverty, lack of education, abuse, unemployment, illegal immigrants, displacement are all factors that put someone at risk of being a victim of trafficking.

Where does human trafficking happen?

Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking. Countries may be the origin, transit, and/or destination for trafficking.

The United States is affected by trafficking as well, as it has been reported in all 50 states. It is estimated that 14,500-17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.

To see a copy of the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report , an annual publication of the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons click here

Is prostitution considered human trafficking?

“Prostitution is widely socially tolerated, with the buyers socially invisible. Even today, many mistakenly assume that prostitution is sex, rather than sexual violence, and a vocational choice, rather than a human rights abuse. Although clinicians are beginning to recognize the overwhelming physical violence in prostitution, its internal ravages are still not well understood. There has been far more clinical attention paid to sexually transmitted diseases among those prostituted than to their depressions, lethal suicidality, mood disorders, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder) dissociative disorders, substance abuse, and traumatic brain injury. Regardless of its legal status or its physical location, prostitution is extremely dangerous for women. Homicide is a frequent cause of death.

Prostitution is an institution akin to slavery, one so intrinsically discriminatory and abusive that it cannot be fixed–only abolished. At the same time, its root causes must be eradicated as well: sex inequality, racism and colonialism, poverty, prostitution tourism, and economic development that destroys traditional ways of living. The conditions that make genuine consent possible are absent from prostitution: physical safety, equal power with johns and pimps, and real alternatives. It is a cruel lie to suggest that decriminalization or legalization will protect anyone in prostitution. Until it is understood that prostitution and trafficking can appear voluntary but are not in reality free choices made from a range of options, it will be difficult to garner adequate support to assist those who wish to escape but have no other choices. Enforcement of international agreements challenging trafficking and prostitution can aid in this effort as can laws challenging men’s purchase of sex.” -prostitutionresearch.com

FAQ about Purchased

What is Purchased?

Purchased is a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity whose mission is to empower communities to end modern day slavery. Our desire is to challenge our communities to be a part of the solution to modern day slavery, both locally and globally.

Purchased facilitates events to raise awareness and educate people about modern day slavery and inspire them to join in the abolition movement. Purchased invests in youth through educational opportunities, empowering them rise to the challenge to be allies against sexual exploitation. Purchased also collaborates with organizations to provide survivor support.

How is the money donated to Purchased used?

Purchased a non-for-profit organization comprised by a very lean staff and a large number of committed volunteers. The money we receive goes toward our education and awareness programs, and occasionally we are able to make a donation to other frontline abolitionist partners around the world. For a breakdown of our budget and how the money will be used, contact us.

How can I help?

First, educate yourself. There are numerous resources on the subject – a sample of which can be found here. Secondly, you can help spread the word. The more human trafficking is brought out into the light the harder it will be for those perpetuating it to stay hidden in the dark. For a list of ideas, visit our volunteer page. Third, support legislation that makes it harder for human trafficking and prostitution to continue. Call your senator or attend public debates and advocate for the oppressed. And lastly, pray. Purchased believes in the power of prayer and depends on your support!