Human trafficking Top Initiative for Incoming NAAG President Rob McKenna

Human trafficking will be the top initiative for Incoming President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), Rob McKenna.  Today he launched his “Pillars of Hope” Presidential Initiative and will be calling upon his fellow AGs to join him in the effort to make the case about human trafficking, help victims, prosecute traffickers and buyers and raise awareness to end demand.

This is a fantastic leap forward in the fight against this insidious crime that is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the US and the rest of the world, ranking behind the drug trade, but equal to the illegal arms trade in revenue.  Yet is also a crime that we as citizens can largely erase if we are aware of the signs, report suspicions, and reach out to help victims.

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is defined as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel another person to provide labor or commercial sex against their will. (Not included in this definition is the harvesting and trade in human organs, illegal adoptions, trading in child pornography, or voluntary prostitution)

Global Scope of human trafficking – Data from UNICEF

  • Adults and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world: 12.3 million
  • Successful trafficking prosecutions in 2009: 4,166
  • Ratio of convicted offenders to victims identified, as a percentage: 8.5%
  • Countries without laws, policies, or regulations to prevent victims’ deportation: 104
  • Prevalence of trafficking victims in the world: 1.8 per 1,000 inhabitants
  • As many as two million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade.

Estimated National Scope of human trafficking – Data from 2001 study by Dr. Richard Estes and Dr. Neil Alan Weiner

  • 162,000 of homeless youth, and 57,800 children in homes (including public housing) are estimated to be victims of child prostitution.
  • 30% of shelter youth and 70% of homeless youth are victims of child prostitution.
  • 33% of street-level prostitutes are under 18, and 50% of off-street prostitutes are under 18.
    • Off-street prostitution includes massage parlors, strip clubs, and escort services.
  • The average age of entry into prostitution for girls, boys, and transgendered youth is 11-13
  • Pimps make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year
  • 75% of girls engaged in prostitution work for a pimp
  • 61% of the teen prostitutes say they were raped as children

“The youngest children bring the most money. They are the most hidden and abused victims” – Oakland police Lt. Kevin Wiley, an expert on child exploitation

The internet’s role in human trafficking

  • 76% of transactions for sex with underage girls are conducted via the Internet (Sources: Justice Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

Several years ago the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) created three very powerful and very relevant posters that will hopefully help change this article from being one you read, to one you take action on.

Do Your Part. Reach out to organizations in your communities to learn how you can help.



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