An Introduction to Child Trafficking in the United States

January 9, 2012; American Bar Association: Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery prevalent both domestically and abroad. The crime of child trafficking has recently gained more attention in our society via news reports, celebrity advocacy, and new outreach and advocacy campaigns designed to combat this heinous crime.

The latest government estimates state that approximately 14,500–17,500 men, women, and children are trafficked into the United States each year to perform compelled labor or sexual services, with women and children representing the majority of victims. This figure does not include U.S. citizens, who may also be trafficked. Current estimates suggest up to 100,000 U.S. citizen children are trafficked in the Unites States each year.

In 2000, the United States enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which created new human trafficking crimes and provided protections, services, and benefits for human trafficking victims. While the terms “child trafficking” and “human trafficking” may be new legal terms, the phenomenon of children being commercially sexually exploited or compelled into performing labor or services is not new, even in the United States. Link to Article

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