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Policy Proposal Essay

2129 words - 9 pages

Most American citizens, if asked, would say that sex trafficking is an issue that happens on foreign land, not here in America. Many American’s believe that slavery was abolished years ago, but modern day slavery is happening in this country and internationally every day right under our noses. The startling fact, is that sex trafficking happens within our borders, and in our very own towns at a much higher rate than anyone would imagine. Sex trafficking occurs when people, usually women and children, are coerced into the sex trade against their will (TVPA, 2013). Many traffickers target weak, vulnerable people who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and have a history of abuse; however ...view middle of the document...

Throughout the country there are task forces, and agencies that provide support, protection, counseling, and advocacy for survivors of trafficking. These anti-trafficking task forces and agency programs are the key to ending trafficking. These programs aim to educate the public, first responders, and the justice system on human trafficking. These education efforts help to end the cycle of myths and misconceptions which will in turn lead to higher rates of victim identification, and trafficker convictions (U.S. Department of Justice, 2014).
Human trafficking is a vastly underreported crime; there are thousands of victims going unnoticed and wrongly convicted every day. More programs, advocacy, and policy change needs to take place so that we may begin to rid this country of the social norms that are furthering us from our mission of abolishing human trafficking. In general, there is a lack of funding, resources, and programs available to victims (Clawson, Dutch, 2008). 180 Turning Lives Around will adopt the proposed policy in order to aid national efforts to end human trafficking while also providing needed services to victims in New Jersey and surrounding areas.
Problem Identification
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, sex trafficking victims are 68.2% female and 31.8% male. To further break it down, 40.4% of victims are black, 25.6% white, 23.9% Hispanic, 4.3% Asian, and 5.8% other. Although the nature of the crime is hidden, and statistics on sex trafficking in the U.S. are hard to come by, it is known that most trafficking cases identified in the U.S. are in the form of prostitution. 48.4% of all sex trafficking cases are adult prostitution, and 40.4% are child prostitution/ sexual exploitation of a child. Of the reported cases to date in the U.S., 83% of the victims were identified as American citizens (The National Center for Victims of Crime, 2014).
Victim identification is incredibly important when attempting to combat trafficking in America. Many victims go unnoticed, and when they are found they run the risk of being deported or wrongly convicted for prostitution, (even if they are under 18) if the court officials do not understand the nature of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is a very attractive crime to traffickers, because there is a low rate of convictions, there is a high demand, it yields high profits, and trafficking currently has few negative effects for the traffickers (Lee, 2013). Outreach and education is an important key in teaching people to identify victims. Anyone could potentially identify a victim, it is important for people to learn the signs and ask the right questions. According to the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) done by the state department, only 46,570 trafficking victims were identified out of an estimated 27 million victims around the world. Out of these 46,570 identified, only 3,162 of those cases were brought to court, and only half of those led to trafficker convictions...

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