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National Human Trafficking Hotline Takes 100,000th Call

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline, which has been operated by Polaris Project since December 2007, received its 100,000th phone call on Monday. The caller requested legal services. Through these phone calls — as well as emails, online tip forms and text messages — the hotline is identifying more victims and providing data and insights into important trends that can help stop this violence and exploitation. In total, nearly 14,500 cases of potential human trafficking have been reported to the hotline.

The NHTRC also released data from 2013 today, which show significant increases in total calls, reported cases of potential human trafficking, and calls directly from survivors compared to 2012.

  • Total Calls: Call volume increased by 55 percent from 2012. In total, the NHTRC hotline received 31,945 phone calls in 2013, compared to 20,654 calls in 2012. Since its first full year of operation in 2008 when 5,746 calls were received, the hotline has experienced a 456 percent annual increase in phone calls.
  • Reported Cases: In 2013, multiple cases of human trafficking were reported in each of the 50 states and D.C. There were 5,214 potential cases of human trafficking reported to the hotline in 2013, a 52% increase over the 3,420 cases reported in 2012. Between December 7, 2007, and December 31, 2013, the hotline learned of a total of 14,453 potential human trafficking cases.
  • Calls from Survivors: Compared to 2012, the NHTRC hotline experienced a 65 percent increase in phone calls directly from survivors in 2013. The hotline received 2,241 calls from potential victims compared to 1,355 calls from victims in 2012. The NHTRC hotline received 5,246 calls from victims between December 2007 and December 31, 2013.
  • Trafficking Venue or Industry: The three most commonly cited venues for sex trafficking were: Commercial-Front Brothels, Internet-Based/Online Advertising, or Hotel/Motel-Based commercial sex. The three most commonly cited industries for labor trafficking were: Domestic Work, Door-to-Door Sales Crew, or Restaurant/Food Service.

“The national human trafficking hotline is a critical lifeline for the women, children, and men who are being trafficked every day of the year in every state in our nation,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris Project. “Everyone who has called, emailed, or texted to ask for help reminds us that sex and labor trafficking are occurring in homes, small businesses, farms, factories and dozens of other places in the country. Every day we learn more about this insidious form of exploitation and abuse. It is a massive problem that demands additional resources and our attention 365 days a year.” 

The 2013 report on NHTRC statistics can be accessed here, including the number of calls received from all 50 states.

In addition to phone calls, the NHTRC also received 1,488 emails and 1,669 online tip forms in 2013, as well as 787 SMS threads since the texting program was launched on March 28, 2013. Similar to previous years, the NHTRC received its greatest volume of calls from California, followed by Texas, Florida, and New York. 

The NHTRC hotline enables victims of human trafficking to reach out for help, receives tips of potential trafficking from community members, and offers training and other resources. The confidential hotline operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. By working with thousands of service providers and community-based organizations across the country, the hotline aims to provide human trafficking survivors with access to critical support and services to get help and stay safe, and to equip the anti-trafficking field with critical tools to effectively combat all forms of human trafficking. The NHTRC is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as private donors and supporters including Google, Humanity United, the Greenbaum Foundation, Salesforce, and Palantir.

Polaris Project largely attributes the significant growth in calls to the hotline to greater awareness of human trafficking and the hotline number itself. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. 

Human trafficking is a thriving criminal industry, with traffickers making billions in profits by using force, fraud, or coercion to rob victims of their freedom. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, with hundreds of thousands of victims forced to provide commercial sex, labor, or services against their will here in the United States.

People can receive help, report a tip, or request information or training by calling the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or by sending a text to BeFree (233733). 

About Polaris Project
Polaris Project is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and globally. By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-373-7888), conducting trainings, and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.

 

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