SF human trafficking victims are mostly under 25, women, and people of color: report

2 mins read

According to a new report from the city’s task force on anti-human trafficking, most cases in San Francisco involve victims under 25, women, and people of color. 

The San Francisco Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking released a report on Tuesday detailing the type of human trafficking cases that the government and community agencies handled in 2021. 

Eight agencies in public health, women and family services, law enforcement, and legal services reported 165 cases of sex and labor trafficking induced by force, fraud, or coercion. 

The number is lower than the data years prior — 673 cases from 22 agencies in 2017 — but it’s also due to fewer agencies contributing to the report. 

A task force representative said the COVID-19 pandemic, staff turnover rates, and lower capacity to provide services barred agencies to participate. 

However, when the number of cases over the years in the same eight agencies was compared, there was an average of 23% more cases. 

Of the cases reported, 91% were sex trafficking cases, 94% of survivors were women and 88% were individuals under 25, 72% were people of color, with the majority being African Americans. 

The San Francisco Department on the Status of Women and the task force will focus on three recommendations following the report’s findings – there needs to be reignition of anti-trafficking organizations in the city, more funds allocated to essential organizations and data collection focused on finding what services are needed.

“Although it impacts women, girls and nonbinary people significantly and disproportionately, human trafficking is an issue for all San Franciscans,” said Kimberly Ellis, director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women. “The findings in this report demonstrate the need for us to collect more robust and complete data to better understand the depths of human trafficking in all its forms, to prevent future trafficking, and to support current victims.”  


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.