Trafficking Situations Identified
Victims and Survivors Assisted
People Completed Human Trafficking 101 Training
- Since launching the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2007, Polaris has handled 400,000+ contacts, identified 82,000+ trafficking situations, and assisted 75,800+ victims and survivors across all 50 states, U.S. territories, and 179 countries.
- In 2023, we created the Polaris Resilience Fund, a basic income pilot for survivors. This monthly cash assistance helps them gain economic stability, affording them time to heal, reducing vulnerability to re-trafficking, and enabling them to address barriers to thriving, such as criminal records or poor credit from their trafficking experience.
- Through operating the Trafficking Hotline, Polaris has generated the largest data set on trafficking in North America and the second largest in the world behind the United Nations. We complement this asset with unique primary data to serve as the data hub for the anti-trafficking movement.
- Polaris has published invaluable reports, briefs, and resources to inform the anti-trafficking movement, including a system identifying 25 typologies of trafficking in the U.S. (2017); report cards grading states’ criminal record relief for survivors (2019 and 2023); research on labor trafficking on temporary work visas (2018 and 2022); and the National Survivor Study (NSS) exploring pre-trafficking vulnerabilities, service needs, and barriers to post-exit stability (2023).
- Working with financial institutions and law enforcement, Polaris’s Financial Intelligence Unit has produced 100+ open-source intelligence packages since 2020. This information helps our partners disrupt trafficking businesses, make the crime riskier and less profitable for perpetrators, and take a more survivor-centered approach to enforcement, as these crimes do not always require victims to testify in court.
- Polaris helped found the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) national advocacy coalition and has led efforts to pass nine federal and 100+ state laws in all 50 states, supporting victims, survivors, and vulnerable populations.
- Our cell phone-based worker engagement platform, Nonechka, has reached 5,200+ migrant farmworkers in the U.S. and Mexico, garnering input from over 2,000 working in 13 U.S. states and enabling us to amplify their voices in federal policy discussions.
Partners & Communities Activated
- Survivors help lead Polaris and our programs. While we never ask people to disclose whether they have experienced human trafficking directly, we are proud that there are survivors on our Board of Directors, among our senior leadership team, across levels of the organization, and on our Advisory Councils.
- Polaris has hired 175+ survivor consultants to contribute their expertise to the anti-trafficking movement. We also engaged 457 survivors in the NSS, making it the largest known survey of its kind, and had seven survivors in the project’s Community Advisory Group and six survivors who were part of the core research team.
- Polaris provides thousands of referrals to victims, survivors, and those supporting them using our network of 3,100+ service providers and law enforcement agencies in the U.S., as well as 2,600+ vetted partners worldwide.
- Polaris facilitates the North American Safety Net of human trafficking hotlines across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, coordinating cases across borders and sharing trends and best practices. We helped stand up Mexico’s hotline in 2015, and advised 15 other countries, including the UK, Canada, and South Africa, on theirs.
- Polaris currently refers about one-third of all situations to law enforcement, including any involving children, threats of immediate violence, or adult victims who consent to have information shared. From January 2016 through August 2022, Polaris referred 7,352 trafficking situations to law enforcement.
- Our information has helped build cases to hold traffickers accountable. Examples include the report of a man enticing three victims over Facebook, resulting in a 20-year prison sentence for child sex trafficking; a report of minors being trafficked, which led to an FBI sting operation resulting in a 10-year sentence; and assistance for a Mexican consulate in identifying a labor trafficking case affecting over 45 workers in Connecticut and leading to the indictment of two traffickers.
- More than 21,500 people have taken “Human Trafficking 101,” our free, interactive online training explaining what human trafficking is, how it happens, and who the victims and traffickers are.
- Polaris has provided specialized training to a variety of organizations, agencies, and faith communities who engage potential victims, survivors, and vulnerable groups. For example, we have trained 2,500+ officials at Mexican and Northern Triangle consulates in all 50 states, strengthening efforts to prevent and disrupt labor trafficking.
- With support from Polaris, survivors, and other allies, Congress passed the Debt Bondage Repair Act in 2021, which enables survivors to have adverse information from trafficking removed from their credit report. The following year, Polaris contributed and facilitated public comments that helped the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau improve implementation of the new law.
- In 2023, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor released major regulation changes to protect temporary agricultural workers in the U.S. — citing several Polaris reports about temporary workers and labor trafficking in their documentation. These new regulations will reduce vulnerability to trafficking for more than 300,000 workers per year in the U.S.
- We’ve trained 1 million employees of corporate partners, tailoring accurate information about trafficking to their sectors and scopes.
- Several financial institution partners have changed their practices so that survivors can open bank accounts more easily. Six have waived monthly banking fees; five now allow for alternative forms of identification; five have waived monthly balance requirements; and four will dismiss any adverse information resulting from a credit check for confirmed trafficking victims.
- In partnership with survivors, Polaris developed a media guide to share with journalists, entertainment industry professionals, service providers, and others creating content about human trafficking.
- In the last two years, a targeted campaign to reach Spanish-language media with accurate information about labor trafficking resulted in 47 earned media placements in 23 outlets, including Univision, Enlace Latino, and Telemundo.