UNDERSTANDIng Human Trafficking

Take our free online introductory course to learn what human trafficking really is, how it happens, and how you can be part of the solution.


25 Million people


We cannot end this one person, one survivor at a time. But with your help, we can target the systems that make human trafficking possible.



Human trafficking is always or usually a violent crime.


The most pervasive myth about human trafficking is that it often involves kidnapping or physically forcing someone into a situation. In reality, most traffickers use psychological means such as, tricking, defrauding, manipulating or threatening victims into providing commercial sex or exploitative labor.


All human trafficking involves commercial sex.



Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion to get another person to provide labor or commercial sex. Worldwide, experts believe there are more situations of labor trafficking than of sex trafficking, but there is much wider awareness of sex trafficking in the U.S. than of labor trafficking.


Traffickers target victims they don’t know.



Many survivors have been trafficked by romantic partners, including spouses, and by family members, including parents.

Who We Are

Founded in 2002, Polaris is named for the North Star, which people held in slavery in the United States used as a guide to navigate their way to freedom. Today we are filling in the roadmap for that journey and lighting the path ahead.

Serving victims and survivors through the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Building a dataset that illuminates how human trafficking really works, in real time.

Turning knowledge into targeted systems-level strategies to disrupt and prevent human trafficking.

View our impact

National Survivor Study

The National Survivor Study is a scientifically rigorous research project developed in full partnership with survivors of human trafficking to gain insights that we can use to push for real and impactful change.

Help Survivors Repair Their Credit

The House of Representatives has passed legislation that will help survivors repair credit reports wrecked as a result of their trafficking situations. Now it’s time for the Senate to step up and get it over the finish line.

Visas H-2A: Guía esencial para las y los trabajadores esenciales del campo

Si tienes una visa H-2A, este recurso es de tu interés. Ingresa y conoce tus derechos y también los detalles importantes para estos sean respetados en tu lugar de trabajo.

Need help? Polaris operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.