The Realities of Child Sex Trafficking
Child sex trafficking is a brutal and inhumane crime that destroys the lives of millions of children yearly. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than one million children are sex trafficked globally. However, the actual number is likely much higher due to underreporting and the challenge of accurately tracking this horrific crime. The reality of child sex trafficking is bleak and devastating for the victims, who often suffer physical, emotional, and psychological trauma that can last a lifetime.
Defining Child Sex Trafficking
Child sex trafficking involves exploiting children under 18 for commercial sex acts like prostitution, pornography, and sexual slavery. The victims are often recruited, transported, and controlled by organized criminal networks that operate across borders and jurisdictions.
These networks might promise a job and a better life for a young child living in poverty. Others escaping a violent or neglectful home life might be promised love and affection. But unfortunately, such networks also resort to coercion, threats, and physical violence.
The Prevalence of Child Sex Trafficking
Child sex trafficking is a global problem that includes victims from all walks of life in every corner of the world. According to the US Department of Justice National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an estimated 100,000-300,000 children are at risk of being trafficked for sex each year, many of them runaways or homeless.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one in six endangered runaways reported were likely victims of sex trafficking. While the majority of victims are girls, traffickers also target boys. The average age of entry into prostitution is 13.
The Long-Term Effects of Child Sex Trafficking
Victims of child sex trafficking suffer from profound, devastating, and long-lasting physical and emotional abuse, including rape, beatings, and other forms of violence. They may also experience psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse. In addition, they may face significant social and economic challenges, like a lack of education, job skills, and social support, making it difficult for them to rebuild their lives after escaping trafficking.
Addressing Child Sex Trafficking
A comprehensive and coordinated effort is the only way to fight child sex trafficking. It includes prevention efforts, like education and awareness campaigns, and law enforcement strategies to identify and prosecute people trafficking children. In addition, support and services to victims of child sex trafficking, including medical care, counseling, and safe housing must be part of the plan.
The fight against child sex trafficking is ongoing, with law enforcement agencies working to combat this heinous crime. However, to protect children from becoming victims of sex trafficking and to support those who have already been victimized, much more needs to be done.
Raising awareness about the dangers of child sex trafficking and educating children and their families is crucial. Although it’s a challenging conversation to have with children, teaching them how to avoid becoming a victim can be an effective way to prevent trafficking.
Global organizations, including UNICEF, the International Labour Organization, and the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, work tirelessly to protect children from traffickers. In addition, numerous local and national organizations are working to address the problem.
For example, The Orphan’s Hands works diligently to prevent child trafficking and help vulnerable people, delivering the transformative power of God to help survivors practically and spiritually. One of our projects, Vatra Village in Eastern Europe, can save 90 young people from human trafficking with a safe place to live, an opportunity for an education, and, most importantly, hope.
Help Us Provide Hope
Child sex trafficking is an overwhelming issue. One person alone can’t stop it, but we can gain traction together. You can make a difference! Your contributions help our committed staff and volunteers work 365 days a year to fight human trafficking and support survivors. Every donation can change the life of someone victimized by human trafficking. No matter the size, every effort can deliver help and hope to the most vulnerable.
The generosity of our supporters has helped us provide a safe life for people once victims of sex trafficking, including shelter, food, and medical care for those in need. Together, we can change and save lives!