“Annually, according to U.S. Government-sponsored research completed in 2006, approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders, which does not include millions trafficked within their own countries. Approximately 80 percent of transnational victims are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors,” reports the US Department of State in a 2008 study. Due to the illegal and underground nature of sex trafficking, the exact extent of women and children forced into prostitution is unknown.
Poverty, social exclusion and war are at the heart of human trafficking. Some women[who?] are hoodwinked into believing promises of a better life, sometimes by people who are known and trusted to them. Traffickers may own legitimate travel agencies, modeling agencies and employment offices in order to gain women's trust. Others are simply kidnapped. Once overseas it is common for their passport to be confiscated by the trafficker and to be warned of the consequences should they attempt to escape, including beatings, rape, threats of violence against their family and death threats. It is common, particularly in Eastern Europe, that should they manage to return to their families they will only be trafficked once again.
Globally, forced labour generates $31bn, half of it in the industrialised world, a tenth in transition countries, the International Labour Organization says in a report on forced labour ("A global alliance against forced labour", ILO, 11 May 2005). Trafficking in people has been facilitated by porous borders and advanced communication technologies, it has become increasingly transnational in scope and highly lucrative within its barbarity.
In some countries[which?] counseling, accommodation, specialist care exists for trafficked people to help them escape, whilst in other countries[which?], this support is lacking and individuals are often treated as illegal immigrants and deported.
The most common destinations for victims of human trafficking are Thailand, Japan, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the US, according to a report by the UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime).
The major sources of trafficked persons include Thailand, China, Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.