Child Trafficking is Modern Day Slavery. Every year traffickers steal children as young as 5 years old and sell them into forced sex or labor situations. They are taken away from their families and forced to perform unspeakable acts. In the Child Trafficking definition of victims, boys are included as well as girls, and the victims could be anyone—your daughter, your son, your neighbor, your friend.
There is a serious misconception in America that human trafficking is strictly an international problem. But the uncomfortable truth is that human trafficking, one of the world’s fasting growing criminal industries, is a horrific issue right here in the United States.
Second, only to the illegal drug industry, human trafficking is a criminal enterprise and it exists in every state in our nation. It cost an average of $80.00 to purchase a child and that same child is often forced to have sex 20 times or more a day, six days a week. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “Every two minutes a child from the United States is trafficked for the purpose of human exploitation.”
This needs to end, but until the demand for child slaves is diminished, commercial sex and labor exploitation among children will continue to grow. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, including 5.5 million children. Every year 300,000 children are taken worldwide and sold by human traffickers as slaves. 17,000 of those children are from the United States. That is 46 children every day.
Key Statistics In The Child Trafficking Definition
The average age of a trafficked child is between 11 and 14 years old. After they are sold into slavery, the outlook is often bleak as human trafficking victims typically only survive 3 to 7 years. This means children sold into slavery could be dead at 14 years old. If these statistics were not bad enough, the cause of death is often from violence, sexually transmitted diseases, drug overdoses, or suicide.
Children who are sold into slavery are at the mercy of their captors who often keep them confined, in a drug-induced fog, or both. They have no way to save themselves; they are powerless. This form of modern day slavery is real. We can debate statistics and share sensationalized stories, but these children deserve more. One child taken is one too many.
Stopping this atrocity relies upon each of us, those of us on the outside, the free ones; we have the power to help. We can fight child trafficking together by educating our communities, recovering those who have been stolen, and helping survivors reclaim their lives and transition back into society.
For more information about the child trafficking definition in the United States, read the Secretary of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report.