[ View the story "Trafficking of innocence" on Storify] Trafficking of innocence
The Stream· Wed, Mar 20 2013 08:18:17
Sex trafficking in the U.S. is often misunderstood as an issue only affecting foreign nationals who are illegally trafficked into the country.
number of people trafficked into USAAJstream
However, the trafficking of American children and youth for sex is a common occurrence -- it is estimated that between 100,000 and 300,000 children and youth are in danger of being trafficked.
I'M A VICTIM NOT A CRIMINAL: CHILD SEX SLAVERY IN THE USA3GenerationsOrg
Minors - some as young as 5 years old - are trafficked widely and forced into sex slavery.
The majority of victims are female-childrenAJstream
The video below puts a spotlight on child sex slavery in Los Angeles. It reveals the dangers minors face when forced to walk the streets. It also shows how the threat of prosecution and fear of their pimp makes many victims feel they don't have a way out.
MANIPULATED: Child Sex Trafficking in Los Angeles CountyDon Knabe
Most US states have passed legislation to combat sex slavery. The Polaris Project, one of the leading organisations fighting global sex trafficking and modern day slavery, ranked the states in different tiers according to the scope, number and effectiveness of those laws.
The green states have the most legal initiatives to combat human trafficking, followed by yellow, orange, and red states.
State ratings human traffickingAJstream
However, advocates argue more needs to be done to combat sex slavery and protect victims of trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed in 2000 and expired in 2011. It has yet to be re-instituted, which has put some organisations' funding at risk.
renew TVPA facebookAJstream
Many NGOs and local initiatives aim to eradicate sex slavery through different means.
The poster below, issued by the US Department of Health and Human Sciences, urges people to identify victims of trafficking.
Sex Trafficking PosterAJstream
, an organisation that works to motivate people for philanthropic causes, created this video to raise awareness about sex trafficking.
Back to Innocence | Jubilee Project short film on sex traffickingjubileeproject
urges netizens to sign the
Safe Harbor Petition
, which would make any minor arrested on prostitution charges treated, by Connecticut law, as a victim of trafficking.
Polaris project victim assistanceAJstream
, an initiative founded by Tina Frundt in 2007, aims to discover victims of human trafficking, help victims and families recover from the trauma of trafficking, and raise awareness.
Ark of HopeAJstream