"Trafficking in persons (TIP) is considered to be one of today's leading criminal enterprises and is believed to affect virtually all countries around the globe. Despite limited data on the nature and severity of the problem, the U.S. government has cited estimates that some 27 million men, women, and children may be victims of trafficking at any given time. In 2012, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that there were some 20.9 million victims of forced labor at any given point in the period 2002-2011, including trafficking victims. The accuracy of these and other estimates, however, is difficult to assess given the clandestine nature of the crime. Internal trafficking generally flows from rural to urban or tourist centers within a given country, while trafficking across international borders generally flows from developing to developed nations. Countries are generally described as source, transit, or destination countries for TIP victims. Many experts conclude that a country is more likely to become a source of human trafficking if it has recently experienced political upheaval, armed conflict, economic crisis, or natural disaster. For example, the hundreds of thousands of Haitian children who were orphaned or abandoned after a catastrophic earthquake hit that country in January 2010 proved vulnerable to trafficking. […] This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean. It then describes U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in the region, as well as discusses the successes and failures of some recent country and regional anti-trafficking efforts. The report concludes by raising issues that may be helpful for the 113th Congress to consider as it continues to address human trafficking as part of its authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33200