The HT Report

Introduction by Marc Klaas

Human Sex Trafficking is: sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18-years of age.

Human trafficking has been a legislative priority in the U.S. ever since passage of the Trafficking in Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000. The TVPA was based, in large part, upon the theory that the U.S. was considered as a destination or demand country for trafficking in persons. This assumption dictated the direction of the legislation, decided which agencies would administer the various programs, and which populations would be targeted by its goals of protection, prosecution and prevention. To date, the U.S.A. has invested $528-million in global efforts to eradicate human trafficking.

It is estimated that 14,500–17,500 individuals are trafficked into the U.S. each year. However, these numbers pale by comparison to the U.S. citizen victims of Human Sex Trafficking.

  • Between 1.6 and 2.8 million children run away annually in the U.S., half of which are girls.
  • Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, one third of these children are lured or recruited into the underground world of prostitution or pornography.
  • The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14.
  • For boys, the entry age is 11-13.
  • Approximately 55% of street girls engage in formal prostitution.
  • Of the girls engaged in formal prostitution, 75% work for a pimp.
  • It is estimated that as many as 300,000 American children are working as prostitutes in the U.S.A.
  • Many of these children are missing: many have run away or are throwaway children.

We have learned that the U.S.A. is as much a supply country as it is a demand country for human trafficking. In fact, we are supplying much of our own demand. President George W. Bush has committed the United States Government to lead in combating the serious 21st century challenge of Human Trafficking. The best way to lead is always by example. The best example that the U.S.A. can present to its own citizens and the world at large is to acknowledge the extent that human sex trafficking has affected our own society, and then repair the damage. We must seek legislative solutions and change society’s perception. We must impact the victim’s mindset as we rescue and recover them. Finally, we must identify and criminalize the traffickers.

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