NM’s 2016 Human Trafficking Case Data Released

Map showing national and state-by-state human trafficking case data for 2016. Courtesy/polaris
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Polaris, the organization that works on all forms of human trafficking and serves victims of slavery and human trafficking, released national and state-by-state human trafficking case data for 2016 today showing a significant jump in cases nationwide. 
For New Mexico, 32 cases of human trafficking were reported to the National Hotline in 2016, which included 19 cases of sex trafficking and nine cases of labor trafficking. In 2015, 30 human trafficking cases were reported. Since 2007, the National Hotline has received reports of 158 cases of human trafficking in New Mexico.
Polaris also released its combined data for the National Human Trafficking Hotline and the BeFree Textline (233733) for the entire United States and cases originating overseas. Those 2016 statistics show a 35 percent jump in reported cases.
Together, the Polaris-operated hotlines handled a record 8,042 cases of human trafficking in 2016. The data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline constitute one of the largest data sets on human trafficking for the U.S. Comprehensive case and call data for the U.S., all 50 states, and D.C. are here. Data for the BeFree Textline are here
Key highlights from the 2016 data from Polaris-operated hotlines for the entire U.S. and international locations include:
  • Cases of reported human trafficking continue to increase each year, with the most significant increase last year. In 2016, 8,042 cases were reported to the hotlines, which include 7,572 cases to the National Human Trafficking Hotline from within the U.S. and 301 reported cases from overseas, as well as 169 cases reported to the BeFree Textline. This number compares to 5,961 reported cases in 2015. Polaris largely attributes this increase to greater awareness of human trafficking and the National Hotline, especially as more people become aware of its effectiveness in connecting people to a broad range of services. Additionally, more recognition of the various types of sex and labor trafficking serves to better reach and identify specific victim populations. 
  • More survivors than ever reached out for help. The 2016 data reflect the importance of ensuring survivors are aware that help is available so they can actively reach out for options to stay safe. In 2016, 2,042 survivors reached out to the hotlines for help, a 24 percent increase over the 1,641 survivors who did in 2015. The 2016 data better illuminate how survivors were most often recruited for sex trafficking (through intimate partners, family members, and those posing as benefactors) and labor trafficking (through fraudulent job offers and false promises). Demographic data also show that reported victims were predominantly people of color, and U.S. citizen victims outnumbered foreign nationals.
  • Reports of labor trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline soared by 47 percent within the U.S. In 2016, 1,057 labor trafficking cases were reported to the National Hotline, compared to 717 in 2015. The types of labor trafficking most often reported included domestic work, agriculture, and traveling sales crews. Even with this increase, Polaris strongly believes labor trafficking cases in the U.S. are chronically underreported due to a lack of awareness about the issue and a critical lack of recognition of the diverse vulnerability of workers in labor sectors across the U.S. By identifying and effectively targeting the specific sectors and venues where labor exploitation and trafficking occur, more success can be realized with prevention by increasing outreach to specific groups of vulnerable workers. 
A detailed report of 2016 statistics, including key victim demographics, can be viewed here. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1.888.373.7888. The BeFree Textline is 233733.