United Against Human Trafficking

In partnership with UPS and United Way Worldwide, Metro United Way collaborated on a broad effort to root out human trafficking.

The Issue

Human trafficking is a fast-growing criminal enterprise that encompasses various forms of labor trafficking, sex trafficking and child exploitation. While illegal in all 50 states, it continues to occur in communities all across the country – including our own.


  • Over 40 million people globally are currently trapped in a situation of human trafficking or modern day slavery

  • One in four human trafficking victims are children

  • In 2019 alone, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 400 contacts regarding alleged human trafficking in Kentucky – 136 total trafficking cases were reported involving over 300 victims and survivors

  • Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has identified over 700 total trafficking cases in Kentucky

Metro United Way’s Role

From 2020-2023, Metro United Way worked with community leaders and existing anti-trafficking groups to map out the full range of programs and strategies needed to combat human trafficking in our community, including services currently available to survivors, and determined gaps in access to programs or services that address their needs.

A complete landscape analysis of the current state of human trafficking and anti-trafficking efforts in our local community was completed. This report takes a deep dive into existing statewide legislation, known literature on the subject, and local qualitative analysis including key informant interviews, surveys and focus groups comprised of a wide cross-section of individuals across multiple sectors in our community. In all, over 200 people and nearly 40 organizations contributed to the research. The full report can be found HERE. A summary of report findings can be found HERE.

Project Goals

Through this comprehensive landscape analysis, Metro United Way identified gaps and areas of need within our community’s current anti-trafficking safety net of services related to prevention and survivor supports. Our goals are three-fold:

  • Leverage this report is to raise awareness about this issue and spur community dialogue around causes and solutions
  • Direct resources to areas of greatest needs, including supports for human trafficking survivors
  • Strengthen our community’s social safety net by facilitating more efficient and effective connections of survivors to the supports they need through the United Community platform

Following the completion of the landscape analysis, community partners convened for additional training in 2022 to address some of the specific areas identified as gaps in the report. Our key partners the Louisville Metro Government Office for Women and the Bakhita Empowerment Institute of Catholic Charities of Louisville surveyed local service providers and compiled that data to create a local resource guide focused on services for human trafficking survivors, as well as a human trafficking resource map that identifies both assets and gaps in our local landscape. These resources are intended to be used and shared among the many partners who work to meet the needs of survivors.

Press and Resources

  • United Against Human Trafficking Impact Report

  • Human Trafficking Resource Guide

    A list of services available in the Louisville metro area

  • Mapping Assets and Gaps

    Mapping assets and gaps in Louisville’s response to Human Trafficking

  • Kentucky launches new campaign to help end human trafficking

    Read Article
  • UPS and Metro United Way join to fight human trafficking in Louisville and other cities

    Read Article

Metro United Way is proud to be part of this new resource to help local United Ways drive equitable change in their communities by integrating anti-human trafficking efforts into their existing work. United Way’s Strategy Guide to Combat Human Trafficking is a comprehensive resource that Metro United Way and other local United Ways can utilize to understand and address the issue of human trafficking in their communities. It aims to empower the United Way Network to combat this issue by leveraging existing strengths, partnerships, and programs.


For more information about the United Against Human Trafficking effort, contact Angie Ditsler at angela.ditsler@metrounitedway.org


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