Human trafficking is big business. Forced labor in the private economy generates $150 billion in illegal profits per year — with $99 billion of that coming directly from commercial sexual exploitation.
Like any business, trafficking relies on the law of supply and demand. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of forced labor and human trafficking, including 5.5 million children. In the United States alone, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline has received reports of at least 14,588 sex trafficking cases since 2007.
While many factors fuel the demand, pornography is a key part of the problem. During interviews with 854 women in prostitution in nine countries, 49 percent said pornography was made of them while they were in prostitution, and 47 percent were upset by tricks’ attempts to make them do what the tricks had previously seen in pornography.