There are 25 million adults and children suffering from labor and sex trafficking all over the world, including in the United States, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released their annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TPR), showing that globally, traffickers are “robbing a staggering 24.9 million people of their freedom and basic human dignity” through slavery, forced labor, forced marriage, and sex trafficking.

The DOS investigates over 100 countries every year to include in its report.

Yet, the International Labor Organization puts the number of child and adult victims of human trafficking globally at 40.3 million. 81 percent of them are trapped in forced labor. 25 percent are children, and 75 percent of the 40.3 million are women and girls.

Among all researched countries in the world, the United States finds itself in the group of top Tier 1 countries according to TPR findings. That means the United States fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and the U.S. government continues to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period.

Those efforts include increasing the number of convictions, the amount of funding for victim services, and launching new public outreach measures, among other things.

Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry, and one of the fastest growing illegal industries in the world, according to World Atlas.

The worst countries

The worst human traffickers in the world includes China, Russia, DR Congo, Iran, Cuba, Turkmenistan, North Korea, Syria, Burma, Saudi Arabia, and South Sudan, as well as Belarus, Bhutan, Burundi, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, The Gambia, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, and Venezuela.

These countries have a Tier 3 rating, which is the lowest ranking a country can get and means those countries are not meeting the minimum standards as written in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and are found to not be making any steps to do so.

These countries are plagued with the worst slave labor and human trafficking, and government entities do very little to intervene or assist those trapped in situations of human trafficking.

However, compared to other first world countries, the United States has its own dismayingly horrific and distinct problems.

Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking, told Fox News, “The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.”

Foster kids at greater risk

Rogers also said there are a “tremendous number of kids, a multitude of kids that are being sold as sex slaves today in America. These are American kids, American-born, 50 percent to 60 percent of them coming from out of the foster care industry.”

Dr. Brook Parker Bello is founder and CEO of More Too Life, Inc. More Too Life is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending human trafficking and mentoring those affected by it.

Dr. Bello told Fox News, “The average victim that we work with over 18 started being raped at 3.”

 She also said, “85 percent of the victims that are trafficked in the United States are from here.”

Bello’s website states: “America is the number one producer of child porn in the world and a global destination for children being sold to the highest bidder and often moved away. Most children do not survive.”

At any given time

The International Labor Organization estimates:

–At any given time in 2016, an estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labor and 15.4 million in forced marriage.

–It means there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.

–1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.

–Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labor, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million people are in forced sexual exploitation; and at least 4 million people are in forced labor imposed by state authorities.

–Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labor, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (TVPA), defines “severe forms of 
trafficking in persons” as:

– sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in 
which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or

– the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

A victim need not be physically transported from one location to another for the crime to fall within this definition.

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