Sex trafficking has become a major problem in the United States, and it continues to grow each and every year. The sudden growth in the business can be attributed to the serious increase in demand from all corners of the country. It has come with negative costs to the society, including poor public health, reduced social development, disrupted economies and degradation of human rights, especially when it comes to women. Victims of the act end up having harmful psychological and physical health conditions, which puts them at a social disadvantage. This article explains what can be done to control and prevent sex trafficking from happening.
Keywords: Sex trafficking
Sex trafficking happens when someone uses fraud, coercion or force to induce a commercial sex act with a grown up or forces a minor to perform a commercial sex act (Bernat, 2013). A commercial sex act is inclusive of sexual performance, pornography and prostitution conducted in exchange for valuable items such as drugs, food, shelter, clothes or money. There are multiple ways and actions which can be taken to curb sex trafficking.
Prosecuting the Traffickers and Buyers
The Government should take a heavy legal action against the traffickers (Jesionka, 2017). They can recruit young and unsuspecting people into the business as well as control and exploit the victims or even threaten them if they try to escape or uncover the organization. The punishment should also extend to the buyers, who are constantly fueling the market with their funds. The customers create a ready market, which tempts the traffickers to recruit more members so as to satisfy the demand. The buyers turned the sex trafficking into a billion-dollar business, with an approximate turnover in the United States of around $9 billion per year (Hunt, 2017). Most of this income is generated during high-profile events such as the Super Bowl. Once the buyers of the services are eliminated, the industry will eventually die down on its own. There will no longer be any market or demand to fuel the traffickers, and they will be forced to look for alternative ways to earn their income. Sweden passed a law which made it illegal to buy sex. The bill targets buyers and pimps, but does not condemn the people who sell sex. The move reduced sex trafficking significantly to a point where it is was almost eradicated. The neighboring countries, Iceland and Norway, implemented a similar law after seeing how much of a success it turned out to be.
Educating the Masses
Educating the public on such issues is important to put a stop to this modern day slavery. Enlightening people about the various misconceptions will help to empower the victims and encourage people to take action. By pinpointing a situation as an act of sex trafficking, one can realize that he/she can become a victim and take the necessary steps to get free from the bondage.
The depiction of women in the United States’ media also has a correlation with these problems and contributes to promoting sex trafficking to some extent. The society has come to view women as sex symbols, and the media is constantly enforcing this idea by airing shows and programs which display the women with skimpy clothing. As the public continue to view these pictures, their need to see more shows increases, and this enhances the demand for sex trafficking and prostitution over time. Thus, the cycle continues.
Sex trafficking has been a rot in the society for quite some time until now, and regulations have to be put in place to curb it. A high emphasis has to be placed on educating the public and punishing the wrongdoers. Following these two strategies, the will finally put an end to the madness. As for the victims, they should undergo therapy to recover from whatever they went through, regain confidence to get back their lives.
Bernat, F. (2013). Human Sex Trafficking (1st ed., p. 128). Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Hunt, S. (2017). Deconstructing Demand: The Driving Force of Sex Trafficking – Demand Abolition. Demand Abolition. Retrieved 31 March 2017, from https://www.demandabolition.org/deconstructing-demand/
Jesionka, N. (2017). What’s Being Done to Stop Human Trafficking? Themuse.com. Retrieved 31 March 2017, from https://www.themuse.com/advice/whats-being-done-to-stop-human-trafficking