Tag archives: Human Trafficking

State of Sex Trafficking In the States

by Family Research Council

March 22, 2011

In an address to the U.N. General Assembly President Bush said:

Each year, an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought, sold or forced across the world’s borders. Among them are hundreds of thousands of teenage girls, and others as young as five, who fall victim to the sex trade. This commerce in human life generates billions of dollars each year — much of which is used to finance organized crime. Theres a special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and vulnerable. The victims of sex trade see little of life before they see the very worst of life, an underground of brutality and lonely fear. Those who create these victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished. Those who patronize this industry debase themselves and deepen the misery of others. And governments that tolerate this trade are tolerating a form of slavery.

This tragic form of slavery is not just a problem over there, in third world countries far removed from us. On the contrary, it is happening right in our own backyard. Despite laws criminalizing it, sex trafficking is a huge problem in America.

In The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: Americas Prostituted Children, Shared Hope International affirms that at least 100,000 American children a year are victims of sex trafficking, and that number may be much higher. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) highlights the fact that sex trafficking of children is largely under-reported in their estimate that 1 in 5 girls are sexually abused or assaulted before they become adults and 1 in 10 boys, however less than 35% of those cases are reported. Researchers estimate that 1015 percent of children living on the streets in the United States are trafficked for sexual purposes according to the National Institute of Justice in their report Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: What Do We Know and What Do We Do About It?.

And that question, What do we do about it? must be considered, both on an individual level and a state/federal government level. Legislatively speaking, both the federal government and many state governments have passed laws criminalizing human trafficking, and providing for its punishment (see figure 1 below). However, we are finding that this is not enough. Shared Hope International states:

Victims of domestic minor sex trafficking are frequently processed as juvenile delinquents or adult prostitutes. Prostituted juveniles are trained by their trafficker/pimp to lie to authorities and are provided with excellent fraudulent identification resulting in their registration in the arrest records as an adult… Due to the unique trauma bonding that occurs between a victim and her trafficker, these children often run from juvenile facilities right back to the person that exploited them.

The National Institute of Justice says it is estimated that 96 to 98 percent of victims are in need of basic amenities for survival: food, housing, transportation, etc. In response to this many states have introduced legislative initiatives to promote awareness and support to those brutalized by sex trafficking. The figures below will give you an idea of the state of sex trafficking laws in the states.

For a detailed explanation of each state law check out the Fact Sheet on State Anti-Trafficking Laws from US PACT [Policy Advocacy to Combat Trafficking] a program of the Center for Women Policy Studies.

For assistance or to report a sex trafficking case contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center national hotline at: 1-888-3737-888 or go to the Polaris Project website.

To view a detailed US Department of State summary on human trafficking in the US and other countries click here.

Sex Trafficking in America: from The Boulevard to Planned Parenthood

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 14, 2011

On Tuesday, March 15, Family Research Council will Webcast a gripping presentation, hosted by FRC President Tony Perkins, titled “Sex Trafficking in America: From the Boulevard to Planned Parenthood“.

Tony will be joined by leading experts to discuss this growing scourge and what concerned citizens can do to stop it. Included will be:

  • J. Robert (Bob) Flores, former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJD)
  • Tina Frundt, founder and executive director of Courtneys House, which provides specialized housing for sex-trafficked girls
  • Lila Rose, Live Action
  • Lisa Thompson, Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking at the Salvation Army
  • Pat Trueman, president, PornHarms.com and former Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, U. S. Department of Justice
  • Samantha Vardaman, senior director, Shared Hope International

You can register to watch this live Webcast by going to http://www.frc.org/traffic

As recently shown by Live Action, Planned Parenthood has been willing to provide sexually-trafficked girls and women not only with contraception but even abortion, without reporting the plight of the victims to law enforcement authorities.

This is only one aspect of the problem. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 17,500 people — the overwhelming majority of them young women and girls — are “trafficked” as sexual slaves in the United States annually.

That number well could be low. As cited in the text of the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005, a study issued by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001 (found that) as many as 300,000 children in the United States are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation, including trafficking, at any given time.

What is not in dispute is the horror undergone by the victims of this abominable trade — nor that it strikes very close to home. Just a few miles outside of the nations capital, 42 year-old Derwin Smith of Glen Burnie, Maryland, a few days ago pleaded guilty to prostituting a 12 year-old girl he had “picked up on the street.” This girl was raped repeatedly by many men while held by Smith, who now faces the possibility of life in prison without parole. U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake will announce his sentence on May 11.

Many of the victims of sex trafficking are trapped in run-down brothels or cheap hotels. Some are found in so-called “health spas” or massage parlors. Of course, many others are simply thrust onto the street, and others are used in child pornography. All are sexually and physically abused and carry deep psychological scars.

If you have observed a young woman or girl in a situation that suggests she is involved in prostitution or pornography, or even that she simply is in need of help, call the 24/7, toll-free Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

This coming Tuesday, be sure to watch “Sex Trafficking in America: From the Boulevard to Planned Parenthood” and let your friends know about this important broadcast.

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