The trafficking of children and women for sexual purposes has become a key worry for nearly all governments throughout the world. Accounts in the United States regarding human trafficking for the purpose of sexually exploiting women and children have shown the matter is also a national problem and that it is on the rise. A projected 60,000 women and children are trafficked each year in the United States (Wheaton & Schauer, 2006). These victims generally come from the regions of Latin America, Southeast Asia, and countries of the former Soviet Union in eastern and central Europe (Shelley, 2011).
It is important to make a distinction. Human trafficking and human smuggling are two separate ...view middle of the document...
Human trafficking generates an overwhelming $9.5 billion US dollars. $4 billion dollars of this total is attributed to the world’s brothel industry. This industry is one of the main reasons why women and young girls are the main targets in the human trafficking trade. The United States Department of Justice recorded a 109% increase in the number of defendants convicted of human trafficking in US courts between the years 2001 and 2005 compared to the years 1996 to 2000 (Wheaton & Schauer, 2006). This shows the increase in enforcement actions taken to quell the trade here in the United States.
The majority of human trafficking is international. Most of the victims of this heinous act come from less developed regions and are moved to more developed countries. Promises of better lives and protection for family members are ways victims are lured into the underground world of human trafficking (Bernat & Zhilina, 2010). This does not always mean victims are taken from one country to another. Again, it can happen within countries as well.
The United States faces and battles international human sex trafficking because most of the victims of the act are aliens who come from less developed nations, especially South American countries (Territo & Kirkham, 2009). This does not mean that the United States is immune from domestic sex trafficking. An estimated 293,000 American youth presently are in danger of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation. A large number of these youth were thrown away by their families and now live on the streets of many major US cities. Many of these youth become involved in acts like prostitution in order to meet their daily needs and are then drawn into the nightmare that is human sex trafficking (Territo & Kirkham, 2009).
Another way victims come into the human trafficking world is through forced abduction. Many of the homeless youth mentioned above are snatched off of streets and forced into the trade. Still others become involved through coercion and false promises from traffickers who make fake agreements with their parents. Once away from family support and friend, these victims are isolated and find it hard to escape (Goodey, 2003).
Understanding the nature of the trade is important so that solutions can be developed to combat the problem. In the US, law enforcement agencies along with other supporting organizations look to deal with ring-leaders in the trade who coerce, abduct and force women and children into commercial sex acts and slavery (Bernat & Zhilina, 2010).
It is clear that most of the victims of human sex trafficking are women and young girls. The trade calls for this population to be brought in, in order that the trade continue and be profitable. There are calls for males in the trade; however the vast majority of victims are women and young girls as mentioned. The significantly high number of females involved in human sex trafficking is alarming. Some female are forced into sex...