1. WHAT IS SEX TRAFFICKING
Sex trafficking is a subset of human trafficking and has been defined by the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report as a “severe form” of trafficking in which “a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion.”
2. HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?
Big! Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children conservatively estimates there are at least 100,000 U.S. children per year used for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Steve Wagner, former director of the Human Trafficking Program at the US Department of Health and Human Services, estimates this number is closer to a quarter of a million kids per year. “The only way not to find this problem in any city,” says Allen, “is simply not to look for it.”
3. IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN PORN AND SEX TRAFFICKING?
Indeed there is. To quote Laura Lederer, former Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. State Department, “Pornography is a brilliant social marketing campaign for commercial sexual exploitation.” Porn is marketing for sex trafficking both directly and indirectly: directly, because online and offline hubs for trafficking use pornographic images to draw the buyers; indirectly, because of porn’s influence on the culture.
A key ingredient to the success of commercial sex is the belief that people (women especially) are sexual commodities, and Internet pornography is the ideal vehicle to teach and train this belief.
Catherine MacKinnon of Harvard Law says, “consuming pornography is an experience of bought sex” and thus it creates a hunger to continue to purchase and objectify, and act out what is seen. For some, this means objectifying their wife, girlfriend, or acquaintances. For others, this means turning to the world of commercial sex.
4. WHAT ARE SOME ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE SEEKING TO COMBAT SEXUAL TRAFFICKING AND HELP THOSE WHO ARE TRAFFICKED?
There are a number of great organizations doing great work in this area:
5. WHAT CAN I DO TO FIGHT SEXUAL TRAFFICKING?
Here are two simple action steps you can take immediately to begin fighting sex trafficking:
1. Get serious about overcoming your own tendency to sexually objectify others through pornography. Learn the steps to take now.
2. Download and read the free ebook, Stop the Demand: The Role of Porn in Sex Trafficking, then use social media to your advantage to share it with as many people as you possibly can.