"It ought to concern every person, because it's a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I'm talking about the injustice, the outrage of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery."
—President Barack Obama

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit human beings for some type of labor or commercial sex purpose. Every year, millions of men, women, and children worldwide—including in the United States—are victims of human trafficking.

Breaking Free tells the story of three survivors of sex trafficking—a facet of human trafficking. Sex trafficking is defined as the act of forcing, coercing, or conning someone into performing any sexual act. According to U.S. law, anyone younger than eighteen who is selling or being sold for sex acts is a victim of sex trafficking, whether it's done by force or not.

Sex trafficking happens all over the world. Sometimes it's easier to think of sex trafficking as a foreign issue, but it's important to realize that it can and does happen everywhere...maybe even in your neighborhood.

Below is a map that illustrates the state ratings for all 50 U.S. states (and the District of Columbia) based on human trafficking laws. The data was collected by The Polaris Project, which is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. The Polaris Project rated each state with a tier. The more laws a state has passed to help end human trafficking, the higher its tier rating is. Check out the map to see your state's rating.

This type of rating system is similar to the U.S. Department of State's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report that assigns tiers on a global scale—rating each country on its government's efforts to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The TIP Report is the world's most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts. Check out the 2013 TIP Report here.

Not satisfied with your state's rating? Want to help in the fight to end modern slavery? Get involved.