Human Trafficking Basics

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Human trafficking can take many forms. Most types can be found in the Bay Area today.  

Human trafficking

There are many types of human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery, in which victims are controlled through force, fraud or other means to engage in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will. 

Sex trafficking

Found in a wide variety of venues within the sex industry, including residential brothels, escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, online sex services, and street prostitution.

Labor trafficking

Found in diverse labor settings, including domestic work, small businesses, large farms, and factories.


This content and more, such as statistics and red flags to watch for, can be found on the National Human Trafficking Resource Center website. You may also contact one of our Participating Agencies to learn more.

where and when does human trafficking occur?

Human Trafficking happens more frequently and in more places than one might think, ranging from large sporting events to places in your own neighborhood.  Here is a list of Red Flags you can watch out for in your community.

Research on the Super Bowl and Human Trafficking

There is a widespread assumption that large sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, cause an increase in the demand for sexual services and a corresponding rise in human trafficking. This perception is prematurely supported by observed increases in the numbers of online sex advertisements, recoveries of minor victims, and arrests of human traffickers near the time of the Super Bowl.* Such observations have been event-specific and lack comparison data. 

Additionally, data collected is limited to arrests and focuses solely on CSEC (commercial sexual exploitation of children), neglecting labor trafficking and sex trafficking of adults. Given that at least 50% of trafficking cases annually involve labor trafficking,** research must include this form of trafficking. Although research between human trafficking and sporting events is evolving, data is limited at best and inconclusive

We have an opportunity to raise awareness in the local community and ensure that the Bay Area is proactive in addressing the issue of human trafficking not just at the time of the Super Bowl, but everyday.     

Note: Case studies conducted by Stanford University in conjunction with the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking look at human trafficking in the context of sporting events. The case studies are not conclusive with regards to data, but interviews with service providers (direct and legal) suggest there are indications of labor trafficking at large events.  Learn More



** International Labor Organization estimates indicate: 32% of all human trafficking victims were trafficked into labour exploitation, while 43% were trafficked for sexual exploitation and 25% for a mixture of both.

Do you want to Learn more?

Additional Resources:


Signs to watch for that may indicate someone around you could be in danger.  If any of these are concerns, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1.888.373.7888.  

For immediate danger, call 911.

You can also download a list of red flags to keep with you on your mobile device.

Do you need Help?

If you're in immediate danger, please call 911

Polaris BeFree Texting Helpline
Text BeFree (233733)

National Human Trafficking Hotline

Red flags that someone may be in danger