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Sex Trafficking

Human Trafficking

Sex Trafficking (Street-Based)Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Minors under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex are considered to be victims of human trafficking, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion.

Sex traffickers frequently target victims and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry for their own profit.

Sex trafficking exists within diverse and unique sets of venues and businesses including fake massage businesses, escort services, residential brothels, in public on city streets and in truck stops, strip clubs, hostess clubs, hotels and motels, and elsewhere.

 

In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), as amended by the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (JVTA), defines sex trafficking as “recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of an individual through the means of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex”. However, it is not necessary to demonstrate force, fraud, or coercion in sex trafficking cases involving children under the age of 18. The term “commercial sex act” is defined as “any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person” (22 U.S.C. 7102). See the Federal Laws page for more detailed definitions. 
 
Sex trafficking may be distinguished from other forms of commercial sex by applying the Action + Means + Purpose Model. Human trafficking occurs when a trafficker takes any one of the enumerated actions, and then employs the means of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts. At a minimum, one element from each column must be present to establish a potential situation of sex trafficking. The presence of force, fraud, or coercion indicates that the victim has not consented of his or her own free will. In addition, minors under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex are considered victims of human trafficking regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion.

Demand For Sex Trafficking: What You Need To Know

Sex trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. Therefore, people who purchase commercial sex increase the demand for commercial sex and likewise provide a profit incentive for traffickers, who seek to maximize profits by exploiting trafficking victims. Therefore, buyers of commercial sex need to recognize their involvement in driving demand. By not buying sex and not participating in the commercial sex industry, community members can reduce the demand for sex trafficking.

 

The following information on sex trafficking cases is based solely on information learned through the substantive, US-based signals -- phone calls, emails, and online tip reports -- received by the NHTRC hotline as of June 30, 2016.

 

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Total statistics from 12/7/07 to 09/30/2016.

Since 2007

Total Cases: 20,778
Total Victims - Moderate: 18,162
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Cases categorized as “High” contain a high level of indicators of human trafficking. Cases coded as “Moderate” contain several indicators of human trafficking, or resemble common trafficking scenarios but lack core details of force, fraud, or coercion.
Total Victims - High: 17,366
2016 statistics are current as of September 30, 2016.

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Based on interviews with 283 youth in New York City, this is the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men

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Sex Trafficking Victim Outreach Card

A wallet-sized card with indicators of sex trafficking and contact information for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC).

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