Sex trafficking in the United States is a form of human trafficking which involves reproductive slavery or commercial sexual exploitation as it occurs in the United States. It has been estimated that two-thirds of trafficking victims in the United States are US citizens. Most victims who are foreign-born come into the US legally, on various visas. The measures against trafficking of women focus on harsher criminal legislation and punishments, and improving international police cooperation.
Children now account for 30 per cent of those being trafficked, and far more girls are detected than boys. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC , said that "human trafficking has taken on horrific dimensions as armed groups and terrorists use it to spread fear and gain victims to offer as incentives to recruit new fighters," citing child soldiers, forced labour and sexual slavery as examples. While the average numbers of reported victims had fluctuated during the earlier years for which UNODC had collected data, the global trend has shown a steady increase since Asia and the Americas are the regions which have seen the largest increase in the numbers of victims detected, which may be explained by improved methods of detecting, recording and reporting data on trafficking — or a real increase in the number of victims. Most victims of trafficking detected outside their region of origin are from East Asia, followed by sub-Saharan Africa: whilst there has been an increase in the number of convictions for trafficking in these regions, the study concluding that large areas of impunity still exist in many Asian and African countries, and conviction rates for trafficking remain very low. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most prevalent form in European countries, whilst in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, forced labour is the main factor driving the illicit trade. Women and girls make up most trafficking victims worldwide: almost three-quarters of them are trafficked for sexual exploitation, and 35 per cent women and girls are trafficked for forced labour.
The Jeffrey Epstein Case Shows What Sex Trafficking Really Looks Like
Sex trafficking involves some form of forced or coerced sexual exploitation that is not limited to prostitution, and has become a significant and growing problem in both the United States and the larger global community. Victims of sex trafficking acquire adverse physical and psychological health conditions and social disadvantages. Thus, sex trafficking is a critical health issue with broader social implications that requires both medical and legal attention.
This is part of a series of features from across the globe on human trafficking. IPS coverage is supported by the Riana Group. Seventy-two percent of trafficked victims in Canada are under the age of 25, and 51 percent of trafficked girls have been involved in the child welfare system.