Human Trafficking and The Set Free Movement

Graphic by Kelsey Neier.

Written and media by Kelsey Neier.


Human trafficking: The illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is something I believe is not covered enough in the media but is a very serious topic that continues to affect people all over the world. A website called gives a list of facts about human trafficking (listed below) that you may not have known.

1. Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.

2. Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.

3. According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.

4. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.

5. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.


6. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.

7. California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas on the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

8. The National Human Trafficking Hotline receives more calls from Texas than any other state in the US. 15% of those calls are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

9. Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.

10. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.

11. The International Labour Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) compared to 9.5 million (45%) men.

Megan Flaherty and Autumn Hartman at The Set Free Movement's booth during the All College Hike. Source:
Megan Flaherty and Autumn Hartman at The Set Free Movement’s booth during the All College Hike. Source:


Thankfully, Greenville College has taken a stand against human trafficking. I sat down with Autumn Hartman and Megan Flaherty to talk about what The Set Free Movement is and how more people can get involved and raise awareness to help end this slavery. Meetings are held on campus every Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Upper Union and all are welcome to join. If you know of anyone who is a victim of human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1 (888) 373-7888.

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