This data story presents key characteristics from the Global Victim Dataset of almost 18,000 victims exploited in the region of the Americas. Most data is shown at the regional level, and there are some key statistics for the five countries within the region where the largest amount of data is present. The subset mainly comprises data from Polaris' counter trafficking activities, and therefore some data is largely reflective of Polaris' hotline assistance activities in the region. Regions and sub-regions are defined according to the official UN classification.

Type of exploitation all victims

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Just over 70% of victims exploited in the Americas are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, while around a fifth are victims of trafficking for labour exploitation.

Adults and children

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Notably, almost a third of victims exploited in the Americas are children. This is in contrast to the Global Victim Dataset at large, which has a higher proportion of adults.

Gender of victims

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Among identified cases of victims exploited within the region of the Americas, females represent just over 80% of the caseload.

Region of origin of victims

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Over 80% of identified victims exploited in the Americas have citizenship of a country from the Americas, representing the intra-regional nature of trafficking. Some victims represented have dual citizenship.

Gender and age of victims

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There is consistently a higher proportion of females across all age categories of victims exploited in the Americas.

Means of control used on adults and children

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Traffickers use many means of controlling their victims, and each victim can be subject to several means of control during the course of their trafficking experience. Adult victims exploited in the Americas tend to be controlled much more through taking of earnings, restrictions on movement, and threats than children. Children are controlled more through psychological abuse and sexual abuse than adults.

Marital status

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Almost four fifths of identified victims exploited in the Americas are single.

Sector of work

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The most common sector of work for victims of trafficking for labour exploitation in the Americas is domestic work, representing just over a quarter of victims. Other sectors victims are commonly trafficked into include agriculture and hospitality.

Education level

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Over a third of victims exploited in the Americas have completed just primary or elementary school education, while approximately a third have completed high or middle school.

Recruiter relationship

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A high proportion of victims identified in the Americas were recruited by someone they knew, with the largest proportion being recruited by an intimate partner.