January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, dedicated to education, awareness, and prevention of human trafficking in the United States. The United Nations defines human trafficking using the Action-Means-Purpose (AMP) Model. Using this model, human trafficking occurs when a perpetrator, often referred to as a trafficker, takes any one of the enumerated Acts, and then employs the Means of force, fraud, coercion, etc. for the Purpose of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts or labor or services. Minors induced into commercial sex are human trafficking victims- regardless if force, fraud, or coercion is present.

Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people (the majority of whom are women and girls) trapped in forced sexual exploitation. However, human trafficking remains largely underreported, often due to the methods of force, fraud or coercion employed by traffickers. Even when reported, cases involving human trafficking might be charged as another crime or pled down to a lesser crime.


  • The National Human Trafficking Resource Center reports that human trafficking occurred in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2015.
  • Victims originate from almost every region of the world; the top three countries of origin in 2015 were the United States, Mexico, and the Philippines.


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