Media Coverage Misleads Americans about Human Trafficking

June 17, 2011

Media coverage tends to be heavily biased towards covering stories of trafficking of international victims, both here and abroad.  Leaving many Americans under the false assumption that U.S. citizens are risk free from the dangers of being trafficked.

The majority of people we encounter in our ThinkFreedom (TM) public awareness campaign either don't know what the term Human Trafficking refers to, or they assume it is about an issue dealing exclusively with foreign nationals caught in some form of  domestic servitude. Often, Americans consider Human Trafficking to be an international issue that exists only in foreign counties.  Most are shocked and surprised to learn
how much Human Trafficking exists right here in the U.S. and  how many victims are actually Americans. 

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates there are up to 300,000 new victims of domestic minor sex trafficking each year in the United States. When you compare this to the 15 to 18 thousand foreign national victims in the U.S. the ratio of American victims to foreign national is almost 20 to 1.

Domestic minor sex trafficking is a growing epidemic in United States

Domestic Minor Sex-Trafficking, also known by law enforcement as DMST, is a form of Human Trafficking that focuses on victimizing under-age victims for purposes of commercial sex-trade.  This often includes both prostitution and child pornography.  Human Trafficking, as a term used by law enforcement and prosecutors has been expanded to include many things that lead up to forced labor and sexual trade.  There are people whose involvement is limited to recruitment of victims.  Others are involved in harboring or transporting newly recruited victims to traffickers who pimp.  All of these players are involved in the crime against humanity known as Human Trafficking.

In American, minors (under-age victims) are especially being sought after by traffickers, because trafficking of minors for sex is exceptionally profitable compared to other forms of trafficking of both adults and children.  Minors are easier to manipulate because adults have power over children, and they are easier to manipulate and coerce.

Adolescent girls age 12 - 14 years old are at the highest risk in the U.S. Traffickers and predators seek out these young girls when they are most vulnerable. They find them in public places like shopping malls and movie theaters. They befriend them on social networking sites. They seek them out in different social settings. 

Check out our website for more information on domestic minor sex trafficking and how you can help us fight against it.

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