Prosecutions and convictions of human traffickers by the U.S. Justice Department declined from fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2019. Yet reported instances of trafficking have risen steadily since 2015, according to the Polaris Project, a nonprofit that runs a national trafficking hotline.

Sources: “Trafficking in Persons Report, 20th Edition,” U.S. Department of State, June 2020, pp. 515-516,; “2019 Data Report: The U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline,” Polaris Project,

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Case Type Number of Prosecutions for FY2018 Number of Prosecutions for FY2019
New Defendants Charged 386 343
Convictions 526 475
Year Number of Trafficking Instances Reported
2015 5,713
2016 7,744
2017 8,774
2018 10,915
2019 11,500

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