When you first hear about human trafficking, it’s hard to wrap your mind around how it even exists—much less how widespread it is. But once you take a closer look, it’s hard not to see it: in the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the storefronts we pass every single day.
Because modern slavery is so complex, one of the biggest challenges we face is the lack of data to understand the problem. To truly end it, we need to individually examine all of the forms in which it exists.
That’s why we’re excited to announce The Typology of Modern Slavery. Analyzing more than 32,000 cases of human trafficking documented over the past nine years, we’ve identified 25 unique types of trafficking that exist in the United States. Each type has unique strategies for recruiting and controlling victims, and concealing the crime.
Why is it so important to separate the crime of human trafficking into different types? Because from sex trafficking within escort services to labor trafficking in traveling sales crews, the ways humans are exploited differ greatly. With this greater understanding, we can empower more people to join the fight. On Monday, we won a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and through our work with the Skoll Foundation and our partners throughout the anti-human trafficking field, we plan to further examine and understand the types. If industry experts, anti-trafficking advocates, and individual consumers work together, we can tackle modern slavery type by type and end it once and for all.