The Rise of Human Trafficking

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When innocence is violated, it is a significant crime against humanity. Sex trafficking is the epitome of this crime, because it exploits and degrades the victim’s body and mind. A common belief is that sex trafficking is a practice occurring mostly in foreign countries. Research indicates that it is already a thriving market within the United States, and one that continues to expand every year. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center assessed that there are one million children being sexually exploited for commercial purposes throughout the globe (Human Trafficking 1). Of these statistics, they estimate 244,000 American minors are “at risk of child sexual exploitation, including commercial sexual exploitation” (2). There is one clear problem with these estimates. Sex trafficking is a highly secretive business, so the number of victims may be higher.

Sex trafficking is a term that covers a range of activities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines it as “a modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years” (The Campaign 1). Victims of sex trafficking may be forced to do any number of activities to earn money for their traffickers. These include “prostitution, pornography, stripping, live-sex shows, mail-order brides, military prostitution and sex tourism” (10). Wherever there is demand for the sexual exploitation of a certain type of individual, such as teenage girls, young boys or children, traffickers will find people to meet that demand. Unfortunately, this puts innocent people in situations where they are taken advantage of.

Traffickers manipulate their victims mental...

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