More than 40 million men, women and children suffer the exploitation of human trafficking and modern slavery today.

"It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity.  It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric.  It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets.  It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime.  I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name -- modern slavery."  
- President Barack Obama in remarks to the Clinton Global Initiative in 2012

Human Trafficking in Texas

Allies partnered with the University of Texas to conduct a statewide study of human trafficking in Texas. Funded by the Governor's Office, the pathbreaking research was the first empirically grounded estimate of the prevalence and economic impact of human trafficking. Findings from the study were published in January 2017, and the main findings below help shed light on the true scope of trafficking in Texas. You can read the full study here.

Modern Slavery Defined

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that occurs when one person exerts control over another person in order to exploit them economically. In this scenario, the victim is controlled through manipulation, violence, or the threat of violence and cannot walk away.   

The definition of human trafficking, as outlined in the UN Protocol, has three main components:  

  • The Action; which means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons
  • The Means; which includes threat of or use of force, deception, coercion, abuse of power or position of vulnerability
  • The Purpose; which is always exploitation. Article 3 of the UN Protocol says exploitation "shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;"

Human trafficking is further broken down into two forms: labor trafficking and sex trafficking. Labor trafficking occurs in contexts that can include all forms of labor and services, including domestic servitude, sweat shops, and farm laborers forced to work without pay. Sex trafficking occurs in contexts that encompass the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), as well as all adults who engage in a commercial sex act because of force, fraud, or coercion.  

While all human trafficking involves exploitation, not all forms of labor or sexual exploitation are considered human trafficking.