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Myths vs. Realities of Trafficking

What is sex trafficking?

Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Minors under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex are considered to be victims of human trafficking, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion.

There are more than 5 million victims of sex trafficking globally. 

Women and girls make up 99% of the victims of sex trafficking.

Source: UNODC 2018 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons


Myth: Trafficking always involves kidnapping or violent threats. Reality: In addition to violence, traffickers use psychological means such as, tricking, defrauding, manipulating or threatening victims into providing commercial sex or exploitative labor.


Myth: Traffickers are always strangers. Reality: Survivors have been trafficked by romantic partners, spouses, family members, including parents, and friends.

A mother, or family member, can sell her young daughter for sex, for money, food, necessities or drugs. The mother is the trafficker.

A teen or young adult boyfriend/girlfriend coerces them to have sex with their friends in exchange for money, drugs, a new cell phone, clothing, etc. That boyfriend/girlfriend is their trafficker.


Myth: Human trafficking must involve transporting a person across state or national borders.

Reality: Human trafficking does not require any movement. Victims can be transported or moved to another location (including across state or national borders), but are also recruited and trafficked in their own communities and their own homes.

Source: Polaris


Do you want to get more information about trafficking, what Courage House is doing to support victims, and how you can get involved? Join Joel and Stephanie Midthun, Executive Directors of Courage House Tanzania, on their speaking tour! Check out our previous blog for their schedule. Follow our Facebook (Courage Worldwide), Twitter (@CourageWorld) and Instagram (@courageworld) for more facts, inspiration and updates on Courage House!




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