What is Child Trafficking?
Child Trafficking is Modern Day Slavery. Across the globe in different regions of the world, traffickers steal children as young as 5 years old and sell them into forced labor or sex trafficking situations. They are taken away from their families and forced to perform unspeakable acts. In the Child Trafficking definition of victims, boys are included as well as girls, and the victims could be anyone—your daughter, your son, your neighbor, your friend.
Is Child Sex Trafficking Happening in the United States?
There is a serious misconception in America that human trafficking is strictly an international problem. But the uncomfortable truth is that human trafficking, one of the world’s fasting growing criminal industries, is a horrific issue right here in the United States. In the U. S. child trafficking looks different compared to third world countries. Human Traffickers do not have to steal or take children in the dark of night. Traffickers can use social media or children’s peers to lure victims into trafficking. Traffickers find vulnerabilities in children and exploit the vulnerabilities for control.
What are the Numbers?
- In 2017, an estimated 1 out of 7 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. Of those, 88% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran.
- There is no official estimate of the total number of human trafficking victims in the U.S. Polaris estimates that the total number of victims nationally reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated.
- Although slavery is commonly thought to be a thing of the past, human traffickers generate hundreds of billions of dollars in profits by trapping millions of people in horrific situations around the world, including here in the U.S.
Why Don't Victims Just Leave When They Have the Opportunity?
Traffickers use physical, emotional and psychological abuse, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will which creates a trauma bond between the victim and trafficker that can be more powerful than physical chains. Many times traffickers use the threat of violence against a victim’s loved ones to secure their control.
Is There a Link Between Pornography and Trafficking?
Unequivocally the answer is yes. One out of every 5 pornographic images is of a child who, under the protection of the Trafficked Victim Protection Act, has been trafficked.