Sex Trafficking: Get the Facts


  • In the Chicago area, 16,000 to 25,000 local women and girls are “sex trafficked” each year.
  • Most victims of sex trafficking in the US are women and children, particularly girls under the age of 18.
  • While trafficking is often seen as a problem that occurs in other countries, more than 100,000 children are estimated to be part of the sex trade every year here in the U.S., with an additional almost 300,000 youths at risk of becoming victims.
  • The majority of sex trafficking victims identified in this country are US citizens.
  • Once girls enter the sex industry, their average life expectancy is seven years, with homicide and AIDS being the top killers.
  • Most trafficking victims have experienced extreme violence, suffer from substance abuse addictions, experience homelessness, have health problems, and struggle with mental illness.
  • Human trafficking is the world’s third largest criminal enterprise, after drugs and weapons, and is the fastest growing.
  • Sex trafficking alone produces an estimated $7 billion annually.
  • The International Labor Organization (ILO) of the United Nations estimates that there are 12.3 million adults and children at any given time in forced labor or commercial sexual servitude worldwide.