Human Sex Trafficking in the U.S.

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Matt Culp
Professor Sheridian
Criminology
11 December 2012
Human Sex Trafficking in the United States
When people think of slavery, they most often imagine the 1800's and The Civil War. Some think of the Romans or Greeks taking slaves for work after winning battles. For the most part, we don't believe that slavery still exists today. Most would be surprised to hear that it is still going on, and it occurs right in our own neighborhoods. The type of slavery I'm talking about is human sex trafficking. The sex-slave trade has been in the United States for as long as we have been a nation and is a growing concern for Law Enforcement agencies around the country. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan, as quoted in our textbook, states that, "Human trafficking is the third-largest illegal-income source in America today, [only] behind drugs and gunrunning. The dark side of human trafficking is that, unlike drugs, human beings can be resold and reused, thus making them a more profitable commodity" (374). In a bulletin released by the FBI, they say that "it [human sex trafficking] is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world" (Walker-Rodriguez, and Hill). What exactly is human trafficking? According the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, it is defined as, “All acts involved in the transport, harboring, or sale of persons within national or across international borders through coercion, force, kidnaping, deception or fraud, for purposes of placing persons in situations of forced labor or services, such as forced prostitution, domestic servitude, debt bondage or other slavery-like practices” (Pub. L. 106-386). This is a big problem not just in the United States, but globally. The U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report 2012 confirmed there are at least 12.5 million slaves in the world today, where 8 out of every 10 incidents were classified as sex trafficking (Clinton,...
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