Most people are shocked to learn about underage sex trafficking. But once you know, you can make a real difference in a young person’s life.
A form of modern day slavery, sex trafficking forces children and adults to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. Most victims are recruited when they are just 12 to 14 years old, coerced through drugs, violence, debt bondage and intimidation.
The signs are subtle – a young girl or boy who looks helpless, nervous, fearful or disoriented. Makeup or clothing inappropriate for the age. A companion who doesn’t seem like the right fit. A young person not allowed to speak for themselves.
- Up to 300,000 Americans under 18 are lured into the commercial sex trade every year. (Ark of Hope for Children)
- Human trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year industry – ithas become the second most profitable industry in the world after drug trafficking.
- Sex trafficking is on the rise and is in all 50 states (U.S. Government)
- It is estimated that 1 in 3 young people is solicited for sex within 48 hours of running away or becoming homeless in the U.S. (UNICEF)
- 75% of underage sex trafficking victims said they had been advertised or sold online. (Thorne)
- Hotels are common venue where traffickers exploit their victims. The travel, meeting planning and hotel industry is uniquely positioned to help prevent and disrupt sex trafficking.
If you suspect sex trafficking, contact local law enforcement or call the
National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888.