Statistics have been used to analyze big data throughout many centuries. Individuals and companies alike rely upon statistics to understand large and complex sets of data and help us assess the significance of the data and the conclusions that are drawn from them. As we take a look at how statistics are used within the anti-trafficking movement, we see the importance of numbers to help identify a hidden form of slavery. But what happens when those statistics are outdated or even misquoted? It is difficult to quantify human trafficking statistics because of the hidden nature of the crime. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) started a web-based Human Trafficking Reporting System to collect incident and suspect data from the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Anti-Trafficking Task Forces. This is a start in the right direction but we need to identify the primary human trafficking statistics, seek appropriate funding and update those statistics for this generation.
There are many discussions among anti-trafficking advocates, government agencies and the media that address these anti-trafficking outdated statistics and the need to update them. The Washington Post and other news publications have written several articles pertaining to human trafficking statistics and the negative impact they can have on anti-trafficking efforts if not properly represented.
We need to take the necessary steps to update human trafficking statistics from each government organization that is analyzing and reporting those stats. It is well acknowledged among stakeholders that there are different statistics quoted for any one issue, so we took the time to research websites and compiled those stats to show how misleading and confusing the outdated statistics are. As you review the Outdated Statistic Overview infographic, you will notice varying stats being quoted for a single human trafficking issue.