This section includes the definition of sex trafficking, where to get help in the U.S., and some recommendations for more information about sex trafficking and the broader issue of human trafficking.
Sex trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit a person for commercial sex.
Any minor (under 18 years of age) who is induced to perform a commercial sex act is a victim of human trafficking according to U.S. law, regardless of whether there is force, fraud, or coercion.
Based on Human Trafficking 101 – Homeland Security.See: Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), Pub. L. No. 106-386,103(8)(A), 114 Stat. 1470 (2000), 22 U.SC.A.7102(8)(A)
If you or someone you know is a victim of sex trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. 24/7. They’ll listen. They’ll help. The center is not a law enforcement or immigration authority and is operated by a non-governmental organization.
If you suspect that a person may be a victim of sex trafficking, call the Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423. 24/7. Or submit a tip online at www.ice.gov/tips
- Check out Human Trafficking 101 for individuals and educators by the Blue Campaign of the Department of Homeland Security and partners.
- The Massachusetts Coalition to End Human Trafficking provides opportunities for training, to connect with other allies, and policy and legislative updates.
- Check out The Human Trafficking Center for easy access to definitions, data, as well as research and analysis of current events. Their focus is rigorous research and methodology as they look at causes, conditions, and cures for human trafficking; while seeking to build cooperation among groups working on the scourge of trafficking.
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website offers information on trafficking and links to publications including their Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.
- The U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons is the lead agency in the United States’ global engagement against human trafficking with a focus on prosecution protection and prevention. Their report ranks countries based on that approach. It’s lengthy but can be downloaded by sections.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, 2010
A passionate call to arms to do our part to transform the lives of women and children in developing countries.
A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, 2015
A compelling look at how real people have changed the world; with practical advice on how each of us can help.
The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking And Slavery In America Today, by Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter, 2009
A disturbing look at trafficking and slavery hidden in plain sight in the United States today. The authors offer insight into how we can help end this horrific practice.
Girls Like Us: Fighting For A World Where Girls Are Not For Sale, by Rachel Lloyd, 2012
A bravely honest memoir by a survivor who escaped the commercial sex industry and founded GEMS, New York City’s Girls Education and Mentoring Service, to help other young girls escape “the life”. A powerful story of abuse, hope, and the promise of redemption.
The White Umbrella: Walking With Survivors of Sex Trafficking, by Mary Frances Bowley, 2012
An informative, unvarnished look at the reality of sex trafficking and how we can help.
Not My Life, a 2011 independent documentary written, produced, and directed by Robert Bilheimer. The film documents human trafficking in thirteen countries including the United States.
A Path Appears, follows reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and a variety of actor activists through a variety of countries (including the US) as they reveal the harsh realities of gender-based oppression and human rights violations, as well as solution that are being implemented. A three-part series that aired on PBS.
Fields of Wudan, a drama by FSU film student Steven Chang. This short film (available on Youtube) features Mudan, a young Asian girl, who is forced into slavery by a cruel child brothel owner. Not for the faint of heart.