The United Nations defines human trafficking as, “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation.” Today an estimated 20 and 40 million people internationally are trapped in modern slavery, but only about .04% survivors of human trafficking cases are ever identified. 1
There is no official estimate of the total number of human trafficking victims in the Unites States. However, Polaris, a non-profit that runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline and maintains the largest publicly available data set on human trafficking, estimates that the total number of victims reaches into the hundreds of thousands when aggregating adults and minors involved both in sex and labor trafficking. They have seen the number of cases in the US increase every year, rising 13% from 2016 to 2017. 2
In 2017, Nevada ranked 10th in number of cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, up from 12th in 2016. However, if you break down the number of cases per 100,000 residents, Nevada ranks 2nd. Over 90% of this subset involved sex trafficking.