In the United States, the most prevalent form of human trafficking is sex trafficking.
It is a highly profitable business for pimps and, increasingly, gangs. The hyper-sexualization of women in the media and the proliferation of hardcore pornography have fueled a dangerous demand for sex. As in any other industry, the higher the demand, the higher the supply.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000
- Outlines a three-pronged approach for federal anti-trafficking initiatives:
Prevention + Protection + Prosecution
- Assures that a person does not need to be transported from one place to another in order to be considered a trafficking victim.
- Establishes that any minor in prostitution is a victim of sex trafficking, regardless of coercion or force.
- Functions as a foreign diplomacy tool by establishing minimum standards for governments. The U.S. State Department uses these minimum standards to classify countries' efforts to fight human trafficking. These classifications have important implications on foreign aid and can be used to pressure governments into doing more to end trafficking.
- Between 2007 and 2014, reports to the human trafficking hotline have identified 17,345 victims and survivors and opened 19, 724 cases.
- Almost 20% of the cases identified so far this year came from California.
- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 1 in 6 runaway children in 2014 were victims of sex trafficking.
- Los Angeles is one of the top three points of entry for trafficking victims.