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  • Jessie Parchman

Human Trafficking: The World, United States, and Arkansas

Slavery is forced labor or sex trafficking; over 27.6 million people are trapped in this system worldwide. [1]

Human trafficking in the simplest terms is modern-day slavery. Human trafficking can happen to anyone as it uses coercion to pull in an individual for forced labor or sexual acts. In certain regions of the country, people are unaware that a form of slavery exists, but it is an issue that every state faces. The United States recognizes the forms of trafficking through forced labor and sex trafficking. Still, these go deeper than the two primary forms as the union also recognizes domestic servitude, forced child labor, and forced child sex trafficking. Labor trafficking is seen in many ways, such as domestic work, factories, and peddling rings. Sex trafficking can be seen through brothel settings, escort services, prostitution, and in bars/clubs. Unfortunately, like many other countries, the U.S. does not have an official number of human trafficking, but it is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. Children are at a higher risk than adults as they are more vulnerable, and more than 300,000 adolescents are considered “at risk” in the US. The younger generation is at risk for sex and labor trafficking as the average age for prostitution requirement is 12-14 years of age in the United States. The human trafficking industry earns roughly 150 billion dollars per year, and this is growing. [2]

Compared to other states, such as Texas and Florida, Arkansas’s human trafficking statistics are significantly better; however, cases are still being reported. In Arkansas, the Human Trafficking Hotline has received 1,972 signals since 2007.[3] In 2013, the Human Trafficking Act established the Arkansas Human Trafficking task force to address human trafficking in Arkansas, which established a state plan and works with governmental and non-governmental organizations. [4]

These statistics do not have to be the case; we as individuals, can do our part in stopping human trafficking. Some acts can involve learning more about trafficking and being a conscious/informed consumer.

If you believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking, call 1-888-373-7888, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, or report an emergency to law enforcement by 911.

[1] 20 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking - United States Department of State

[2] Surprising Facts and Statistics About Human Trafficking in the US (

[3] Arkansas | National Human Trafficking Hotline

[4] Arkansas Human Trafficking, Fact Sheet, Statistics (

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