April 19, 2011
Table of Contents
Human Trafficking in the United States Using the Internet
Child labor has been documented as far back as the 1600’s; however, child labor has likely been a part of history since the beginning of time. It was not until the rise of industrial factory labor, better known as the Industrial Revolution, that child labor began to be associated with the degrading conditions we think of today. It was these conditions that brought a wave of new legislation to combat child labor. The combination of the new legislation and great demand for labor created the new market for human trafficking (Nederveen Meerkerk & Schmidt, 2008). Over 200 years later, human trafficking is still a problem, and with the advancements of technology and the internet, human trafficking is a growing criminal enterprise. This paper will examine how the internet is becoming an easy and popular way for criminals to sexually traffic young girls.
Human trafficking is a growing problem that is showing no sign of slowing and the internet is only adding a new element of complexity to the problem. It has been estimated that the number of victims of Domestic Minor Sexual Trafficking, which encompasses “prostitution, pornography, stripping, escort services, and other sexual services” (Kotrla, 2010, para. 5), is estimated to be at least 100,000 and a many as 300,000 each year (Cooper, 2010). In addition, it is also estimated that another 325,000 are at risk of becoming a victim of Domestic Minor Sexual Trafficking (Kotrla, 2010). A study conducted by Shared Hope International concluded that “children as young as nine years old were being sold for sex by parents or boyfriends” (Cooper, 2010, para. 4); other estimates put that age much lower at about three to four years old (Berman, 2010).
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