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H.E.A.T. Watch – Stop Human Exploitation and Trafficking

Alameda County H.E.A.T. Watch Tip Line:
Office of the District Attorney, Alameda County
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

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Education is an important step in the process of trying to end human trafficking. Listening to victims' stories, reading articles and watching videos is a great way to get started. Knowing human trafficking facts and statistics can help you educate yourself and others.

To see statistics specific to Alameda County, check out H.E.A.T. Watch's data on human trafficking.

Remember: cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states.

  • 83% of human trafficking victims in the United States are American-born. 1
  • The US State Department conservatively estimates 14,500 - 17,500 people are trafficked annually in the US. 2
  • In the US, over 80% of reported trafficking cases are sex trafficking, rather than labor. Also, over 70% of labor trafficking victims entered the United States on legal visas. 3 & 4
  • 62% of identified labor trafficking victims were 25 years old and older compared to 13% of confirmed sex trafficking victims. 5
  • The average age of entry for girls (minors) into trafficked prostitution or pornography is 12-14 years.6
  • For boys in California, the average age drops to 11 to 13 years old. 7
  • The life expectancy of a minor after being sexually exploited is 7 years. 8
  • Victims of exploitation and/or trafficking are far more likely to have been in foster care, abused previously in their lives, had a history of drug use, or absenteeism from school. 9
  • It is estimated that each year in the US, there are at least 100,000 children are at risk of being trafficked for commercial sex. 10
  • Homeless youth make up one of the most vulnerable populations to trafficking. Within 48 hours of running away from home, two in every three will be approached by an exploiter.
  • 21% and 42% of runaway and homeless youth were victims of sexual abuse before they left their homes. 11


  • Between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015 Polaris identified 823 victims of labor trafficking or labor exploitation who held a temporary work visa.
  • The top five nationalities of the victims are Mexico, Jamaica, Philippines, South Africa, and Peru
  • Of over 30,000 human trafficking and labor exploitation cases reported to Polaris, 18% of victims came into the U.S. legally with a temporary work visa.
  • 73% of victims are male
  • 72% of victims have their wages withheld and/or taken
  • 68% of victims experience economic abuse

Zhang Study:

  • 28% of undocumented workers are victims of trafficking
  • 36% of undocumented janitorial workers are victims of trafficking
  • 35% of undocumented construction workers are victims of trafficking
  • 32% of undocumented food processing workers are victims of trafficking

For more information, always feel free to contact us at

1. Bureau of Justice Statistics
2. The US Department of State
3. Bureau of Justice Statistics
4. The Urban Institute
5. The Bureau of Justice Statistics
6. U.S. Department of Justice
7. CAS Research and Education.
8. Department of Justice
9. Alameda District Attorney's Office
10. Department of Homeland Security
11. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services