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Publication Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2008-2010

Duren Banks, Ph.D., Tracey Kyckelhahn, Bureau of Justice Statistics

April 28, 2011    NCJ 233732

Describes the characteristics of human trafficking investigations, suspects, and victims in cases opened by federally funded task forces between January 2008 and June 2010. This report provides information about investigations, persons involved in suspected and confirmed incidents of human trafficking, and case outcomes. Data are from the Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS), which was created in response to a congressional mandate in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 for biennial reporting on the scope and characteristics of human trafficking. HTRS is currently the only system that captures information on human trafficking investigations conducted by state and local law enforcement agencies in the United States. The report also describes HTRS data collection procedures and data quality issues.


  • Federally funded task forces opened 2,515 suspected incidents of human trafficking for investigation between January 2008 and June 2010.
  • About 8 in 10 of the suspected incidents of human trafficking were classified as sex trafficking, and about 1 in 10 incidents were classified as labor trafficking.
  • The confirmed human trafficking incidents open for at least a year led to 144 known arrests.

Part of the Characteristics of Suspected Human-Trafficking Incidents Series

Press Release
Full report (PDF 825K)
ASCII file (33K)
Zip format (23K)

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Federal Justice Statistics Program (FJSP)
Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS)

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