First, some terminology...

Sex trafficking- is a means of illegal abduction, concealing, hauling, stipulating and acquiring people for the use of commercial sex acts. By deception, being lured, or removed from home or country for illegal trade or labor such as sexual acts. Sex trafficking is another way to say "Globalized Prostitution".(1)
Commercial sex act- is the act of trading sex for something of value.(1)
Involuntary servitude- is a person working against his or her own will with the intent to make that person believe that he/she or someone they care about will suffer immediate harm or physical restraint. (also known as slavery)(1)
Debt bondage- a pledge to payoff a loan over a period of time through direct labor rather than money.(1)
Coercion- the use of intimidation and force to restrain a person, the intent to make that person believe that he/she or someone they care about will suffer immediate harm or physical restraint.(1)


The Trafficking Victims Protection Act
defines "severe forms of trafficking in persons" as: (a) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or (b) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery." as defined by the U.S. Department of State. First issued in 2000, this act was revised twice in both 2003 and 2005.(2)(3)

Types of Sex Trafficking:
  • Prostitution: the act of engaging in sexual activity for money; related words are fornication, whoring, hooking, or sfg.jpghustling.(1)
  • Pornography: sexually explicit communication such as photographs, films, and writing with no artistic merit; related terms are X-rated or adult materials and movies(1)
  • Sex tourism: vacationing to a destination that has little restriction on sexual activities or services; touring a specific destination with sexual activities and services targeted towards tourists.(1)
  • Stripping: the act of removing or stripping clothing in a public arena; to perform a strip tease.(1)
  • Mail-order brides: ordering and paying for exotic women from over seas to be a man's wife; men can order their brides online and even take "tours" of a country's women.(1) The women often come from countries such as China, the Ukraine, the Philippines, Peru, Costa Rica, and various areas throughout Russia.(4)

Who is Abducted into Sex Trafficking?
Anyone can be a victim of sex trafficking, from men and women, to young boys and girls. However, the majority of the victims are women and young girls. Many of the victims come from Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Prostitutes in the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands are most often illegal immigrants. Over 50% of the prostitutes in Germany and over 80% of the prostitutes in the Netherlands are illegal immigrants.

Whom are the Victims Sold to?
The buyers of the women and children are called "johns" or perhaps even "clients," if the brothel is catering to more "high end" buyers. In the case of mail-order brides, the buyer is legally called "husband."


Why does Sex Trafficking Happen?

Women and children are abducted into sex trafficking because of money. Either they are stolen for the purpose to gaining money for the abductor, or they owe money themselves. If the women or children owe money, it is called debt-bondage, being forced to work off their debt with personal services. Their debt may not be directly theirs, it could be directly link to someone they care about such as a husbands, boyfriends, and parents. Another reason children are sold into trafficking is because their parents cannot afford to take care of the children. As a result, they sell the children for money to be able to take care of the existing family.

How does Sex Trafficking Happen?
Most women and children do not want to be part of the sex trafficking world. So then, how do they become victims? Most commonly, victims are tricked into the industry with a promise to go to another country to live, get a new job, to get married, ect. Each one of these promises have gone wrong: the new job is prostitution in another country, and the marriage proposal is turned into bondage circumstance. Or perhaps they were sold into the industry by the people they trusted, such as their parents, partners, or friends. Traffickers also resort to kidnapping individuals from their homes or from off of the streets.

What Happens while in captivity?

Sex traffickers have to scare their victims into doing what they want. They use a variety of tactics which is called "conditioning" their victims.
Such tactics are: (2)
  • Forced drug and alcohol useprostitution.jpg
  • Beatings
  • Rape
  • Gang rape
  • Confinement
  • Starvation
  • Threats of violence to the victims and their families
  • Threatening to tell their families to shame the victims
  • Threatening deportation to victims who are not legal residents of the country
As a result certain physical health risks occur such as:
  • addiction to the forced drugs and alcohol
  • concussions
  • broken bones
  • vaginal/anal tearing
  • burns
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
    • numbness
    • headaches
    • dizziness
    • memory loss
Many of the victims can also contract sexually transmitted diseases such as:
  • Syphilis
  • HIV/AIDSgood_sushisized.jpg
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Herpes
  • Human Papillomavirus Infection
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Bacterial Vaginosis
Other disease that can be contracted are:
  • TB
  • Hepatitis
  • Malaria
  • Pneumonia.
Other issues are:
  • Sterility
  • Miscarriages
  • Menstrual problems
  • Forced abortions

Where does Sex Trafficking Happen?

There are many countries that the women and children come from. Mainly from poverty stricken countries, because the children are often sold for the money. It happens in such countries as Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
Within these countries, sex trafficking take place in both public and private arenas. Private location would be strip clubs, massage parlors, spas, and brothels that are run out of residential homes. Public Locations are street prostitution and also strip clubs.
However, it is important to remember that sex trafficking, especially recruitment for the trade, occurs here in the United States as well. This is a domestic issue as well.


Victims' Stories
In Cambodia...
Neary grew up in rural Cambodia. Her parents died when she was a child, and, in an effort to give her a better life, her sister married her off when she was 17. Three months later she and her husband went to visit a fishing village. Her husband rented a room in what Neary thought was a guest house. But when she woke the next morning, her husband was gone. The owner of the house told her she had been sold by her husband for $300 and that she was actually in a brothel. For five years, Neary was raped by five to seven men every day. In addition to brutal physical abuse, Neary was infected with HIV and contracted AIDS. The brothel threw her out when she became sick, and she eventually found her way to a local shelter. She died of HIV/AIDS at the age of 23.

In Italy...
Viola, a young Albanian, was 13 when she started dating 21-year-old Dilin, who proposed to marry her. They moved them to Italy where Dilin said he had cousins who could get him a job. Arriving in Italy, Viola's life changed forever. Dilin locked her in a hotel room and left her, never to be seen again. A group of men entered and began to beat Viola. Then, each raped her. The leader informed Viola that Dilin had sold her and that she had to obey him or she would be killed. For seven days Viola was beaten and repeatedly raped. Viola was sold a second time to someone who beat her head so badly she was unable to see for two days. She was told if she didn't work as a prostitute, her mother and sister in Albania would be raped and killed. Viola was forced to submit to prostitution until police raided the brothel in which she was held. She was deported to Albania.
In Singapore...
Karin, a young mother of two, was looking for a job in Sri Lanka when a man befriended her and convinced her that she could land a better job in Singapore. He arranged and paid for her travel. A Sri Lankan woman met Karin upon arrival in Singapore, confiscated her passport, and took her to a hotel. The woman made it clear that Karin had to submit to prostitution to pay back the money it cost for her to be flown into Singapore. Karin was taken to an open space for sale in the sex market where she joined women from Indonesia, Thailand, India, and China to be inspected and purchased by men from Pakistan, India, China, Indonesia, and Africa. The men would take the women to nearby hotels and rape them. Karin was forced to have sex with an average of 15 men a day. She developed a serious illness and three months after her arrival was arrested by the Singaporean police during a raid on the brothel. She was deported to Sri Lanka.

Stories provided by the //U.S. Department of State//

Victims Assistance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has enabled program to help survivors adjust back to civilization and to restore their lives.

Call the //National Human Trafficking Resource Center// at 1.888.3737.888. If you are a victim or have encountered a victim, regardless of U.S citizenship or non-U.S. citizenship. This hotline will put victims in contact with local resources and organization to help.

Global Funds is a foundation that supports the prevention and destruction of sex trafficking as well as helping survivors, not only in the United States but also world wide. They have helped over 300 groups in over 71 different countries. They have supported the various different groups through the donation of over 3 million dollars since they were established in 1987. They have donated over $800,000 to anti-trafficking organizations since 2006.

Other organizations world wide are:
  • Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Shakti Samuha
  • CorporaciĆ³n Espacios de Mujer
  • La Strada
  • The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women
  • The Organization of Black Women
  • International Justice Mission
  • Somaly Mam Foundation
  • Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking

People can donate to any of the numerous organizations in support of the battle to rescue and prevent this heinous crime against humanity.

Everyone can help....but will they?

Some of the information came from our Annotated Bibliography.
1. www.Dictionary.com
2. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/about/fact_sex.pdf
3. http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/trafficking.html
4. http://www.loveme.com/