Current Statistics on Human Trafficking and Slavery

Hagar works indiscriminately with people who have suffered severe human rights abuse. Across our programs, a number of our clients have survived abuse that is considered human trafficking or slavery, including sexual and labour exploitation.

To provide some context to global human trafficking, the following statistics have been extracted from reports by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), The US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report, Walk Free and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).


  • There are 27-36 MILLION INDIVIDUALS IN FORCED LABOUR at any point in time.
    • 68% or 14.2 million are victims of forced labour exploitation, in economic activities such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing.
    • 22% or 4.6 million are victims of sexual slavery.  Of these, 21% or approximately 1 million victims are children. Alternative research has indicated that up to 58% of trafficking cases were for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
    • The remaining 10% or 2.2 million individuals are in state-imposed forms of forced labour.


  • WOMEN ACCOUNT FOR 55-60% of all trafficking victims detected globally; women and girls together account for 75% of victims.


  • TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN IS INCREASING. Of the detected victims whose age profile was known and reported in the period 2007-2010, some 27% were children.  In the period 2003-2006, about 20% were children. Of every 3 child victims, 2 are girls and 1 is a boy.


  • 56% OF SLAVERY OCCURS IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION with 11.7 million victims.
    • 3% or 600,000 victims are in the Middle East.


  • 18 MONTHS is the average length of time spent in forced labour.


  • The annual profits from trafficking alone are at least US $150 BILLION.
    • The “opportunity cost” of coercion to the workers affected by these abusive practices, in terms of lost earning, reaches over US$20 billion.


  • In general, the number of CONVICTIONS FOR TRAFFICKING IS VERY LOW.
    • In 2011, there were 7206 prosecutions for trafficking, and 4239 convictions.  41 210 victims were identified.


  • The TRAFFICKING FLOW FROM EAST ASIA REMAINS THE MOST PROMINENT transnational flow globally.  East Asian victims were detected in large numbers in many countries worldwide.


  • 134 COUNTRIES and territories in the world have criminalized trafficking by establishing a specific offence, in line with the Trafficking of Persons Protocol.


Full reports: