Advocating for Justice: The role of U.S. policy & non-profit organizations in ending child sex trafficking
Sandlund, Jessica M. 1990--
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Child sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking pervasive throughout the world. Nearly one million children are used as modern day slaves in the sex trafficking industry at any given time (International Labour Organization, 2012). Traffickers use their positions of power and control to enslave their victim in horrific situations and use them for their personal financial gain, while buyers perpetuate the industry. Federal policies and non-profit organizations in the US work together to combat child sex trafficking, but the continued presence of supply and demand along with gaps left by ineffective laws, untrained law enforcement, and low community awareness allow the industry to continue. This paper uses a literature review to examine the history of child sex trafficking and to provide information about the victims, traffickers and buyers. It details the role of U.S. policies and non-profit organizations (NPOs) in addressing the needs of victims, prosecuting traffickers, and preventing further abuse. Information is provided on the shortcomings of certain U.S. policies and on how U.S. NPOs are addressing certain community needs. The research also includes a case study based on an interview with a staff member of Saving Innocence, a non-profit organization in California. Lastly, recommendations are made to increase training of law enforcement and service providers, to increase collaboration across sectors, to amend U.S. policies to better help victims, and to create a stronger focus on the demand for commercial sex with the intent of better addressing this crisis.