The biggest mistake an anti-trafficking organization can make is quoting – or promoting – incorrect statistics. And using incorrect, or unfounded, stats is all-to-common within the anti-trafficking community. Why does this occur and, more importantly, why does it matter?
First, a disclaimer: I have used bad information myself in the past. In the early days of the San Jose Police Human Trafficking Task Force (which I managed from 2006-2011) few estimates existed and we used what was available. I have also fallen into the trap of repeating what others (many of whom I respected) were saying without verifying the quality of the data or source, or questioning the context in which the statistics were offered. But with time, I’ve become much more critical about the statistics or studies I quote. Even our use of language leads to misrepresenting information.
For example, have you heard someone say (or post online), “The…
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