Trafficking in Women and Children: The U.S. and International Response [Updated August 1, 2001] [open pdf - 147KB]
The trafficking in people for prostitution and forced labor is one of the fastest growing areas of international criminal activity and one that is of increasing concern to the United States and the international community. The overwhelming majority of those trafficked are women and children. An estimated 700,000 to 2 million people are trafficked each year worldwide; between 45,000 and 50,000 to the United States. Trafficking is now considered the third largest source of profits for organized crime, behind only drugs and weapons, generating billions of dollars annually. Trafficking affects virtually every country in the world. The largest number of victims come from Asia, with over 225,000 victims each year from Southeast Asia and over 150,000 from South Asia. The former Soviet Union is now believed to be the largest new source of trafficking for prostitution and the sex industry, with over 100,000 trafficked each year from that region. An additional 75,000 or more are trafficked from Central and Eastern Europe. Over 100,000 come from Latin America and the Caribbean, and over 50,000 victims are from Africa. Most of the victims are sent to Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe and North America.
CRS Report for Congress, RL30545