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Human Trafficking in the United States

A common misconception about human trafficking is that it only happens abroad. In reality, it is happening here, in the United States and in New York City. Polaris Project, a nongovernment organization that runs the national human trafficking hotline for the United States, has provided the following information based on their work on this issue.

The United States is known as a destination country for transnational trafficking networks that bring foreign nationals (defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as "a person who is not a citizen or national of the United States") into the country for purposes of both sexual and labor exploitation. Foreign national trafficking victims in the United States are primarily from Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa. Cases involve both documented and undocumented workers, and they can occur in both legitimate and underground industries.

Victims of human trafficking in the United States also include U.S. citizens and residents trafficked within its borders. Much like the majority of other countries affected by human trafficking, the United States has a large internal, or "domestic," component of human trafficking in both sexual and labor exploitation.