In the United States of America, human trafficking and prostitution is illegal. Human trafficking is the practice of procuring or trading in human beings for the purpose of prostitution, forced labor, or other forms of exploitation (Human trafficking). The buying and selling of children began after slavery ended in the 1860’s, and since then it has become more widespread. The government ruled the act of selling people for profit unconstitutional because it was a violation of human rights. In the past, our government did not do all they could to protect the people from trafficking, currently, there are laws being passed in attempt to eradicate it and in the future, the government should work harder to end human trafficking and prostitution in the United States.
In the past, human trafficking and prostitution has not been given the attention it deserves. Many people believe that this act did not happen in the United States, but this is false. Human trafficking, although it is not as prominent in the US as it is in other countries, still has occurred throughout history. There is an ongoing debate about how human trafficking began. As stated by Julie Wedam, “Some say that the slave trade in which Africans were captured by slave traders and shipped across the Atlantic to the Americas, was the first human trafficking. Others argue that the forced labor of children during the 1700s was the real beginning of what is now known as human trafficking” (Human Trafficking and Culture). A third argument says that human trafficking began in the sixteenth century and came with the transatlantic slave trade. With this, an estimated 9.6 million people were brought over from Africa to Europe and some North and South American colonies. This continued until the nineteenth century. However, in 1807, the United States formally abolished the slave trade. Later, in 1865, indentured servitude was eradicated with the addition of the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution. Prostitution became more popular and evident in many places around this time as well.
In 1855 prostitution was beginning to pick up in New York City. Under the direction of Dr. W. W. Sanger along with the police, questionnaires were given to 2,000 prostitutes. The results were just what they expected. More than half, 61%, of the prostitutes were born in a country other than the United States. Of that 61%, 863 came from Great Britain and 706 were from Ireland. Germany took third with 357 women. The same study conducted in 1912, by George Kneeland, concluded there was a massive change over the fifty- seven years. Of the 2,363 women surveyed, just 26% were born in foreign countries; this is an enormous drop in such a short amount of time. This time, Russia had the most with 197 women. Since there were so many women from different countries, there was a disconnect in the understanding of the law. Woolston said:
As a natural consequence of the settlement of the United States by...