Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry in which traffickers generate profits from the exploitation of millions of people worldwide. Widely regarded as an urgent human rights issue, the extent of the crime is difficult to assess due to its hidden nature and the lack of resources devoted to identifying and serving victims.

The fight against human trafficking requires modern tools and accurate information. A deeper understanding of the scope, size, and systems of modern slavery can yield targeted counter-trafficking programming focused on impact and the efficient use of limited resources. However, until now, the data that does exist has often been inaccessible or incompatible with other data sources, leading to fragmented knowledge.

Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) seeks to address this issue as the first primary, global data repository on human trafficking, with data contributed by counter-trafficking organizations around the world. The new global dataset will be used to create significant change within the anti-human trafficking community at large. Not only does CTDC serve as a central repository for this critical information, it also publishes normed and harmonized data from various organizations using a unified schema. This global dataset will facilitate an unparalleled level of cross-border, trans-agency analysis and provide the counter-trafficking movement with a truly comprehensive understanding of this complex issue. Equipped with this information, decision makers will be empowered to create more targeted and effective intervention strategies.

Data from different organizations is standardized in terms of definitions, format and categories. Researchers and academics will for the first time have an open access source of human trafficking data that they can combine in analysis with other types of relevant data, such as labour market data, development data, or government intervention data, to more properly model cause and effect relationships and allow for monitoring and evaluation of counter-trafficking response. Without this type of solution, fighting human trafficking will be increasingly difficult to undertake. The possibility here is unprecedented and momentous; meaning a start to providing accurate estimates of trafficking patterns and processes, moving towards structured and impactful anti human trafficking strategy.

We would be delighted for our partners to join us in this process and are looking forward to building towards a bigger and better future in the fight against human trafficking.

The Global Dataset and the accompanying codebook can be downloaded from here.