An examination of the number of daily situations of sex trafficking reported to the Trafficking Hotline indicates a possible shift in where likely sex trafficking involving online sexual exploitation was happening during the pandemic. This in turn highlights how traffickers quickly adapt to changing contexts and the challenges and opportunities this poses to those trying to reduce and prevent sex trafficking.
The U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline saw a nearly 20 percent increase in victims and survivors directly reaching out for support. This indicates a significant development for both the Trafficking Hotline and the anti-trafficking field as a whole.
The U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline has handled 63,380 situations of human trafficking since 2007, comprising one of the largest known publicly available data sets on human trafficking in the United States.
The Wayfair theory, like other viral stories, can potentially result in overwhelming services meant for victims, as well as increasing online harassment and privacy intrusions of people mistakenly believed to be victims. These theories also detract from the knowledge we do have about how sex trafficking actually works, and how we can prevent it.
Polaris tracked the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking. As part of this effort, Polaris has undertaken a systematic examination of relevant data from the Polaris-operated U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline. The data brief includes the findings of this analysis and policy recommendations.
This data brief includes analysis of relevant data from the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline to examine the potential impact of COVID-19 pandemic on victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking.
Since March, the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline has been operated from the makeshift offices of Trafficking Hotline staff. Here, they share some of their experiences and the challenges they face during this unprecedented time.