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25 Types of Human Trafficking (Pt. 5)

This week, we conclude our series on the 25 types of human trafficking identified by the Polaris Project, who analyzed over 32,000 cases in the U.S. to identify trends.

Awareness is the first, crucial step toward eliminating human trafficking across every industry. So review Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV to equip yourself to identify the myriad faces of human trafficking.

21. Domestic work: Individuals within the domestic and home care industry provide care for children, the elderly, and the infirm, but isolation, poverty, and immigration status can make them vulnerable. Because care is provided in home and often to relatives, trafficking can occur as domestic violence or in forced marriage situations. Survivors tend to be middle-aged or older women from at least 105 countries, predominantly the Philippines, Latin America, India, Sub Saharan Africa, and the U.S.

22. Residential Brothels: Residential brothels range from informal to highly organized. Informal residential brothels can operate within a private household through word-of-mouth or online advertisement and frequently prey upon children, including a growing percentage of boys.

In contrast, a network of traffickers operate a formalized model through word of mouth of covert business cards, targeting primarily women and girls from Latin America and Southeast Asia.  

23. Outdoor Solicitation: The stereotypical vision of prostitution—working a particular block or street to engage buyers—outdoor solicitation overwhelmingly involves women and girls, especially girls of color, who are U.S. citizens. Typical inequalities and societal factors make certain individuals especially vulnerable: history of trauma, abuse, addiction, mental health issues, and homelessness.

24. Illicit Massage, Health, and Beauty: This type of trafficking operates under the ruse of a legitimate spa business, with potentially over 7,000 “businesses” operating in the U.S. Traffickers are usually part of a larger network and target women from China, South Korea, and Southeast Asia.

25. Escort Services: Commercial sex occurring indoors, escort services can be “out-call” when traffickers take victims to the buyers, or “in-call” when buyers patronize a hotel room where the victim is confined. still remains the most-used online marketing platform for commercial sex.

If you witness or suspect human trafficking, or are personally being trafficked, call the toll-free, multilingual, 24-hour National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE).

The first step to abolishing human trafficking is education, awareness, and understanding. If you would like to schedule a speaking engagement or training event please go to

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