Understanding Sex TraffickingSex trafficking exploits women, men, and children across the United States and around the world. Preventing this violation of health, safety, and human rights is necessary for the well-being of people and communities. Learn more about resources that prevention practitioners can use to help.
Sex trafficking violates human rights and harms health. Public health practitioners can use strategies to prevent this problem. Get resources to help your community.
Sex Trafficking Problem
Sex trafficking — a type of human trafficking — is a serious public health problem, placing a toll on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. It is defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act” by theTrafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
Severe forms involve force, fraud, or coercion and such cases involving young people under the age of 18.
Victims can come from all backgrounds and become trapped in different locations and situations.
- The majority of victims are women and girls, though men and boys are also impacted;
- They include all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, citizens, non-citizens, and income levels;
- They are trapped and controlled through assault, threats, false promises, perceived sense of protection, isolation, shaming, and debt; and
- They do not have to be physically transported between locations to be victimized.