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Gaps in Reporting Human Trafficking Incidents Result in Significant Undercounting

NCJ Number
254818
Date Published
Author(s)
National Institute of Justice
Agencies
NIJ
Annotation
This National Institute of Justice-supported research article discusses how labor and sex trafficking data appearing in the FBI’s national Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program may significantly understate the extent of human trafficking crimes in the United States.
Abstract
Recent National Institute of Justice-supported research reveals that labor and sex trafficking data appearing in the FBI’s national Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program may significantly understate the extent of human trafficking crimes in the United States. Previously, there had been no research on the validity of UCR data on human trafficking, the researchers noted. An objective of the study was to advance understanding of how accurately reporting of human trafficking crimes reflects the true incidence of crime in a community. Researchers discovered a widespread inability of law enforcement officers to identify local trafficking offenses, coupled with inadequate reporting of those offenses that were identified. The study found that inadequate victim identification was a problem not only for law enforcement but also for victim service providers. As a result, the data collections available for study are limited and tend to underrepresent the victim populations.
Date Created: August 3, 2020