- Sex Trafficking is part of human trafficking.
- It is defined as “the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor [or sexual act in the case of sex trafficking].” For victims under the age of eighteen, force, fraud, or coercion is not required.
- It is a form of gender-based violence and part of the #MeToo movement.
- Many of us don’t realize the widespread complexity of sex trafficking and how the purchase of sex and viewing of pornography are often connected to and fuel violence against the young girls, boys, and adults trapped in the abuse.
Why Sex Trafficking?
- Human trafficking is the world’s third largest criminal enterprise, after drugs and weapons, and is the fastest growing.
- Sex trafficking alone produces an estimated $7 billion annually.
- The International Labor Organization (ILO) of the United Nations estimates that there are 12.3 million adults and children at any given time in forced labor or commercial sexual servitude worldwide.
- Most victims of sex trafficking in the US are women and children, particularly girls under the age of 18.
- While trafficking is often seen as a problem that occurs in other countries, more than 100,000 American children are estimated to be part of the sex trade every year here in the U.S., with an additional almost 300,000 youths at risk of becoming victims.
- Most trafficking victims have experienced extreme violence, pimps using illegal substance abuse as a method of control, homelessness, have long term health problems, and struggle with mental illness.