• Brooke Ruhl

The Cost of Modern Slavery

In past blog posts, I’ve discussed how human trafficking is widespread and affects close to $22 million people worldwide, one of the largest international crime industries. But the reason human trafficking is such a big issue, is because it in unbelievably profitable. These are some shocking statistics about the cost of human trafficking.

Photo by Christine Roy

A Billion Dollar Industry

Every year, human traffickers make a profit of close to $150 Billion dollars. This lands human trafficking a spot in the top three most profitable international crime industries, behind only drug and arms trafficking. But according to the FBI, it's the fastest growing organized crime industry, with unlimited opportunity for growth.

Cost of A Person

Human trafficking is modern slavery, as I’ve discussed prior. People often confuse the history of slavery with modern slavery, and in some cases there are some similarities, but in other cases, like money, they are shockingly different. In 1809, the average cost of obtaining a slave (adjusted for today’s value) was $40,000. But in modern slavery and human trafficking, the average cost of a person is $90, according to The CNN Freedom Project. Depending on the reason for the slave (sex trafficking, forced labor, etc.) the price goes up. Meaning traffickers are more focused on the quantity of people they enslave.

How do we fix it?

If more countries do not place more value on combating human trafficking, so many more people will be in danger. Human trafficking is a dangerous industry, with increasinly high demand and devastatingly high profit. And unfortunately, traffickers have a huge pool of possible victims to pull from.

This longer video features a great panel about ways to combat human trafficking.

Tweet me with what was most surprising to you about the cost of human trafficking.

Tweet me your answer!

@Brooke_Ruhl and use the hashtag #BRuhly_Trafficked


Brooke Ruhl

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Brooke Ruhl

University of Nevada Reno

2020 by Brooke Ruhl.