Article

Sex Trafficking

Edward J. Schauer and Ila J. Schauer

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online December 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0147
Sex Trafficking

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Sex trafficking is the forcing or coercion of persons into the commercial sex trade. The victims of sex trafficking are primarily women and children (both girls and boys). According to international treaty law, any child involved in commercial sex is considered to be sex trafficked because he or she cannot legally consent: Within the United States, sex trafficking is defined as commercial sex acts induced by force, fraud, or coercion; or the forcing of an individual who has not yet reached eighteen years of age to perform a commercial sex act. The US Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines any person under the age of eighteen as a child. In recent years, the average entry age into the commercial sex industry has been between the ages of twelve and fourteen; therefore, it may be surmised that child sex trafficking is rife within the United States. Child sex trafficking is also known by designations in the recent literature as “sex trafficking of domestic minors” or “domestic minor sexual exploitation.” Force, fraud, and coercion are the means of control used by traffickers to tempt, snare, and victimize individuals into commercial sex work. A trafficker may be anyone who is willing to profit from the exploitation of another human being: No specific trafficker profile has been identified, as traffickers may be citizens of destination countries, foreign nationals, men or women, acquaintances, strangers, family members, and intimates. These individuals may be involved at one stage or several stages in the human trafficking process, including the recruitment, transportation, harboring, selling, or exploiting of victims. Sex traffickers frequently lure victims by promising them chances to improve their lives. Others kidnap their victims and force them into commercial sex venues. With the exponential increase in the economic marginalization of families worldwide, many women and children are extremely vulnerable to being victimized by sex traffickers. Along with this vulnerability, high profits and low risk are the two crucial factors that drive the commercial sex trade and aid traffickers. While several impressive international treaty laws have been passed since the year 2000, because the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the US government’s primary diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking, the TVPA in fact probably has the most international impact on international anti-trafficking efforts.

Article.  11327 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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