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Human Trafficking
Human trafficking refers to the sale of adults and children into both commercial sexual servitude and forced or bonded labor. Often referred to as modern-day slavery, human trafficking is the second largest – and fastest growing – criminal industry in the world.[1] While specific legal definitions of human trafficking vary, international, federal, and state law all reflect the idea that human trafficking involves the recruiting, harboring, receipt, or transportation of persons for some exploitative purpose.[2]
The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are at least 12.3 million adults and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and commercial sexual servitude at any given time[3]. Of these victims, the ILO estimates that at least 1.39 million are victims of commercial sexual servitude, both transnational and within countries. According to the ILO, 56 percent of all forced labor victims are women and girls.[4]
Human Trafficking is a grave human rights violation. The Advocates for Human Rights Women’s Program has been working to promote and protect the human rights of sex trafficking victims since 2006. Our work has included human rights fact-finding, publication of the report, The Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment for the State of Minnesota, legislative advocacy and legal reform, presentations and trainings, providing written testimony to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on Human Rights and the Law, and membership to the Human Trafficking Task Force for the State of Minnesota.

[1] United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking; Polaris Project; and the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights
[2] The Advocates for Human Rights, "Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment for the State of Minnesota" (Minnesota, 2008), 3
[3] U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 (2010), 341.
[4] US State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report 2010, (2010), 341