It’s important to understand the difference between child trafficking fact versus myth. Here are ten facts about child trafficking:
- Traffickers exploit vulnerabilities and being a child is an inherent vulnerability. Under US federal law, all children involved in commercial sex are victims of human trafficking. Sadly, only about half of US states have laws that protect sexually exploited children from being prosecuted for prostitution.
- You’ll often hear about trafficking “hotspots.” The truth is that trafficking occurs wherever there are people. Spikes in reported trafficking may also be influenced by an increased focus in that region on research, training, or an awareness campaign promoting the national hotline.
- Sex trafficking is not just a “women and girls issue.” About 15% of those in our US survivor care have been boys and non-binary youth.
- Children from culturally and linguistically diverse communities are more than 2x as likely to experience sex trafficking as children who identified as white. (JAMA)
- Traffickers can look like anyone and don’t fit one stereotype. Love146 has connected with situations of trafficking in which exploiters have been family members, peers, romantic partners, educators, employers, community leaders, and clergy.
- Sometimes youth continue going to school, living at home, and participating in extracurricular activities – even while they are being trafficked.
- Often, a “rescue” isn’t the only (or best) way to freedom. Training to recognize & respond appropriately to trafficking, as well as trauma-informed spaces to heal help create pathways for more victims to exit exploitation.
- Child trafficking is not a new phenomena. Human Trafficking has been happening forever. In 2003 the United Nations introduced the Trafficking Protocol, introducing a universally agreed upon definition of trafficking in persons. (UNODC)