Human trafficking prosecutions decline under Trump as reported incidents increase
Jennifer Talbot has been charged with human trafficking, and could go to prison for decades if found guilty AFP / George CALVELO

According to a new report from Axios, President Donald Trump's administration is failing badly in the war against human trafficking.


The National Human Trafficking Hotline estimates that some 15,000 people in the United States were trafficked in 2018 — some forced to perform physical labor like agricultural work, and others forced into prostitution. This would be the highest number of human trafficking cases reported since 2012.

Prosecutions, however, have slowed. The State Department lists some 386 people charged with trafficking in 2018, down from 553 the year before. Syracuse University estimates that the percent of cases referred to U.S. attorneys that are prosecuted has declined from 49 percent in 2017 to 39 percent in 2018. And over the past two years, annual human trafficking investigations have fallen from over 1,800 to fewer than 700.

The one bright spot: the number of convictions for human trafficking are on the increase. But that is partly attributable to cases that began under the Obama administration.

All of this would be something as a final bit of irony to Trump's supporters in the QAnon community, a group of conspiracy theorists who believe the president is engaging in a covert operation with a not-really-dead John F. Kennedy Jr. to take down a world-spanning ring of child sex predators.