Human Trafficking has come the forefront of advocacy groups in the past ten years. It has been a “hot topic” in the media, especially trafficking of children. We all have heard about it, seen ways to raise money, or articles stating that it is happening right where we live. But, what does it mean for a child to be exploited through human trafficking?
What do we really know about the trafficking of children? It is estimated that 1.2 million children worldwide are trafficked every year. Children as young as 12 years old are trafficked, for sexual exploitation. It is estimated that 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
The trafficking of children means the sale of children for not only sexual exploitation, but also for forms of child labor. The trafficking of humans today is often referred to as modern day slavery. Trafficked children could be victims of incest, rape, and sexual molestation. Children may be prostituted or forced into child pornography. Children may be forced in to an early marriage. Victims of human trafficking face many potential traumas.
When we think of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, we often picture a young girl, but know, out the 4,000 children in New York City estimated to be sexually exploited, 50% are boys. In the U.S. it is estimated that 100,000 children are sexually exploited each year.
The trafficking of children DOES happen where you live. Children ARE sexually exploited in a $99 Billion market. Children ARE used in forced labor in a $150 Billion market.
To learn more, here are some resources: