About the issue

What is Sex Trafficking?

Sex trafficking occurs when a person is made to perform a commercial sex act through the usage of force, fraud, or coercion. If a minor under 18 years of age is made to perform such an act, it is considered sex trafficking despite a lack of force. The International Labor Organization estimates that sex trafficking is a $150 billion industry, where 4.5 million people across the world are victims of sexual exploitation. Russia, China, Belarus, Iran, Venezuela, and India are among some of the worst countries known for human trafficking.

Who are the victims?

Victims come from a range of different backgrounds, women and girls are the most frequently targeted demographic. Females of a variety of ages are targeted, but most commonly beginning at the age of twelve. 


Sex trafficking has hundreds of harmful effects on its victims, the most prevalent being physical harm. Many victims are forced to work excessively, leading to physical exhaustion. Victims are treated poorly by their traffickers, often being starved and threatened. There is also a risk of contracting STDs and STIs, including HIV/AIDS. The most dangerous effect is the effect on victims’ mental state. These constant violating acts of abuse lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems seen in survivors. In fact, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs most in victims of trafficking than any area. Taking into consideration that many victims are brought into the sex trafficking ring at a young age, it is especially important to take measures to shut down the sex trafficking industry in order to preserve their futures.

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