WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 18, 2018) — The number of cases of human trafficking reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline are projected to jump about 25 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. This is based on early numbers released by Polaris, which has been operating the National Hotline for 11 years. The increase means the Hotline is on track to handle more than 11,000 cases of human trafficking across 2018—the largest number of annual cases to date.
From January to September 2018, the National Hotline addressed about 8,700 cases of reported human trafficking, compared to nearly 7,000 over the first three quarters of 2017. Data for the entirety of 2018, including data for all 50 states and D.C. will be released in the spring.
“The significant increase in cases we’re handling this year is a reflection of the more targeted and better-informed efforts to raise awareness about the true nature of human trafficking in the United States,” said Caroline Diemar, Director of the National Human Trafficking Hotline. “We’re also reaching more survivors more effectively. Through new text and chat services that allow discreet communication through their phones, survivors are creating safety plans with our Hotline Advocates and getting connected to help more than ever before.”
BACKGROUND: The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a 24/7, confidential, and multilingual lifeline that provides support and a variety of options for survivors of human trafficking to get connected to help and stay safe. Through a network of nearly 4,000 partner service providers and trusted law enforcement, trained Hotline Advocates take tips of suspected human trafficking from community members and help survivors build plans so they can safely leave their situations or get the help they need to rebuild their lives. The National Hotline can communicate via phone in more than 200 languages through a translation service, as well as text, chat, email, and webform in English and Spanish. The National Hotline is operated by Polaris and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other donors.
Polaris emphasizes that the data released are not intended to represent the full scope of human trafficking, but rather the incoming communications received only through the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
People can be connected to help or report a tip of suspected human trafficking by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, texting “BeFree” (233733), or chatting at www.humantraffickinghotline.org.
Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world’s leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.