We analyze criminal and civil databases to identify trends and spot system failures. This research brings rigor to the anti-trafficking movement and aids pro bono lawyers in representing trafficking survivors.
Number of Civil Trafficking Cases
In 2003, Congress passed a law allowing trafficking victims to recover civil damages for trafficking in federal courts. Since then, the number of cases filed has increased steadily.
Forced Labor and Civil Trafficking Cases
Since 2003, nearly 77% of all federal civil trafficking cases filed by survivors included allegations of forced labor.
Federal Cases Filed by Location of Filing
As of December 31, 2020, plaintiffs had filed federal civil human trafficking cases in 48 states and territories. No civil trafficking cases have been filed in Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska, Nevada, or Vermont (indicated in gray).
Method of Entry
The majority (55%) of civil trafficking cases filed between 2003 and 2020 were brought by foreign-born plaintiffs, many of whom entered the United States with legal visas or legal status.