Human trafficking is fueled by high profits and low risk of traffickers and buyers getting caught according to Washington Trafficking Prevention.

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Washington Trafficking Prevention (WTP) teaches the public about the sex and labor trafficking and exploitation occurring across the U.S. and in Washington state.

Washington state is a hotspot for human trafficking because the state shares a border with another country, Canada, and it's highways are used to move people around in the booming commercial sex trafficking industry.

Sex trafficking is big business in Washington state. At least 2,000 - 3,000 minors are sex trafficked in Washington state every year. Many cases are never reported and these numbers underrepresent the number of minors that are actually being trafficked. 

The stigma around sex trafficking is one reason minors may not let anyone know what is happening to them due to not wanting to feel judged.

Sex trafficking is generational. A minor may learn from a parent that they can earn money by being "in the life" and become a sex trade worker.

Some surprising statistics about the victims and buyers are:

1 in 7 endangered runaways are trafficked for sex. Of these, 85% report having a history of childhood sexual abuse. 40% of human trafficking victims are Black in the U.S. while only 13% of the national population is Black.

71% of sex buyers are White with 69% of the U.S. population is White. The numbers of Asian, Hispanic and Black sex buyers are less than one fourth of the percentage of White sex buyers, with 15% being Asian of 9% Asians in the U.S. population, 9% of sex buyers being Hispanic of their representation of 6% of the U.S. population, and 6% Black sex buyers out of making up 9% of the U.S. population.

WTP is exposing the industry and provides tips the public can use to help someone who they believe may be suffering sexual harassment in public or who may be a target of a sex trafficking or exploitation.

Walking up to interrupt or distract a person who may be targeting a victim is a good way to stop a conversation where a young person looks uncomfortable by someone. Saying something as if you know the victim can interrupt the uncomfortably aggressive approach by a predator, such as "hey we missed you for coffee and wanted to know where you were" or asking if they dropped something can be ways to interrupt the unwanted scenario - especially when a young person is involved.


Share this article and help raise awareness that human trafficking and exploitation is occurring in Washington state.

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