Sexual slavery, a 32 billion dollar international enterprise, is a human-rights breeching crisis that is drastically downplayed in modern culture. At the mention of the sex trafficking industry, most people conjure mental images of kidnapped collage students tied to beds in dingy, desolate apartments with dozens of other unfortunate kids. The truth is, however, that not every human trafficking case is pulled from a Liam Neesen movie; any sexual enterprise involving foreign immigrants and underage girls regardless of whether or not it is voluntary is considered human trafficking (Baker, 2). In order to rid the world of this vulgar, damaging corporation that directly conflicts with the moral principles of freedom and self-worth, we must concentrate on spreading awareness, eradicating domestic violence and perfecting the law enforcement system.
If you were to meet Srypov Chan, “a chubby cheeked 18 year-old with an infectious laugh (Pesta,1)”, you would never guess that she was forced to have sex with hundreds of men before the age of 10. At just seven years old, Chan was sold into a Cambodian brothel, where she and dozens of other pre-pubescent girls were forced to have sex with at least 20 men a day (Nair) Srypov was a victim of sexual slavery, like an estimated 12 million others worldwide. The business of buying and selling humans is a 32 billion dollar global enterprise, and despite being illegal in virtually every country, twenty-seven million people are enslaved worldwide (Pesta, 3). Slavery, especially sexual slavery, deters natural relationships, encourages the objectification of women, prevents evolution from poverty and isn’t necessary for a country’s financial or cultural survival. Sexual slavery has its roots in family violence, power control and monetary desperation. Though many countries such as Thailand, the unofficial child-sex capital, are attempting to crack down on the sex trade, ineffective law enforcement, financial incentives (the sex tourism industry makes millions a year in Cambodia alone) and lack of motivation prevents the industry from dying out all together (McClelland, 2). From China and Cambodia to Mexico, Sweden and our very own United States, the Sex Trafficking industry is rapidly escalating, becoming a major underground enterprise that crosses cultural boundaries and reiterates age-old gender struggles.
Though human trafficking in the United States is a wildly ignored and taboo subject, 14,500-17,500 people are trafficked into the US annually and thousands of girls and boys are kidnapped or coerced into different forms of slavery each year (Baker, 2). The CIA estimates that 30,000-50,000 of these trafficking victims are sex slaves (Landesman, 2) and the NCMG, the Negotiation and Conflict Management Group, states that 100,000 children US children are victims of commercialized sex exploitation each year (Baker, 2). Many of these prostituted children are victims of domestic abuse, growing up in broken homes and depending on pimps as father figures. Pimps ensnare such young girls by gaining their trust, supplying the love that was devoid at home and utilizing the girl’s new-found dependence to manipulate her. The typical age of a sex trafficking victim is plummeting; in the past most girls were in their late teens or early 20’s, but now the average girl is from 12 to 14 years-old (Landesman, 6). The life of a US prostitute is wildly dangerous and harmful to the development of under-aged girls; the victims are put through strenuous mental and physical abuse by their financially motivated pimps, the recent demand for violent and aggressive sex causing the occupation to become more damaging than ever (Landesman, 6). Often times, if these girls escape and return to their families, they aren’t accepted back into their communities and the girls return to the only home they know – their pimp. Even when offered help by organizations such as GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Service),...
Cited: Baker, Carrie. "Jailing Girls for Men 's Crimes." Liberty Media For Women Summer 2010. SIRS Researcher. Web. 14 Apr. 2011.
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