Recognizing Sex Trafficking

Child sex trafficking is a form of child abuse that occurs when a child under 18 is advertised, solicited or exploited through a commercial sex act.  A commercial sex act is any sex act where something of value – such as money, drugs or a place to stay –  is given to or received by any person for sexual activity.  

While any child can be targeted by a trafficker, research, data and survivor lived experience and expertise have revealed traffickers and buyers often target youth who lack strong support networks, have experienced violence in the past, are experiencing homelessness, or are marginalized by society.  Traffickers are masters of manipulation and prey upon vulnerabilities using psychological pressure and intimidation to control and sexually exploit the child for their benefit.  The issue of child sex trafficking is complex.  Understanding the various forms of child sex trafficking and indicators can create opportunities for prevention, identification and response.  Most importantly NCMEC embraces and encourages all efforts on this issue to be survivor-informed, child-centered, and trauma-informed.” -National Center for missing and exploited children

How can you help? 

By its very definition, the crime of human trafficking involves being forced, manipulated or tricked into activities that a person would not otherwise engage in – such as selling sex or picking vegetables for hours in the hot sun with no pay. Yet the federal government has no mechanism to ensure that people who have federal criminal charges on their records as a result of their victimization can get those records cleared and move on with their lives. This is long overdue. Tell Congress: Federal criminalized trafficking victims deserve relief.— Polaris Project


There are different types of Human Trafficking.  There is sex trafficking, Labor Trafficking. 

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