The fact of the matter is that there are enormous incentives for people in the ‘anti-trafficking’ field to lie about statistics. Nearly all of these anti-trafficking laws were, at least in part, passed based on the use of bogus statistics and these bogus statistics are still in use today. Like the example you used about “The average age of entry into forced prostitution is 12-14 years of age”. How about all of that trafficking around the Super Bowl lie? That one sure does a good job of extorting money. How about the movie ‘Taken’? That was based on a lie. That 12-14 years old lie is based on a bogus report from 15 years ago. Why is it still being used today? Is it really hurting anyone’s credibility? If it were, it wouldn’t be repeated and repeated.
It doesn’t cut it say, “These are the best numbers we have”. Actually, if you can’t come up accurate numbers then admit it and don’t report them. That ILO report you mentioned is also false. They openly admit to using “mostly secondary sources” and that the “practice is extremely difficult to research and quantify”. For a discussion on the fraud of “secondary sources”, check out Neil Howard’s article in The Guardian from January 2014. Howard did real on-the-ground research on trafficking in Benin.

The bottom line is that nobody knows what the numbers are, but government funding and grants from foundations/corporations depend on inflated numbers, so there is enormous pressure to come up with something, whether it is a lie or not.

]]>