It's estimated that every year, over 100,000 children are forced into prostitution in the United States.1
Many people are surprised to find out that sex trafficking happens in our own country... to our own kids... at major sporting events. In fact, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called the Super Bowl "the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States."2
Fortunately, authorities have started to crack down on sex trafficking at major sporting events - but there's still much to be done... and many more kids to help.
We need to address both the demand and supply in this horrific industry. We can curtail demand by arresting pimps and johns and enforcing stronger punishments for those engaging in sex trafficking.
We can stem the supply by ensuring America's homeless kids are protected from sex traffickers, who lure them in with promises of shelter, food and love. We need to keep our kids off the streets... we need to show them that a better future is possible.
Ask the Attorneys General to make the fight against the sex trafficking of minors a priority.
1. 2012 Final Report: An Inventory and Evaluation of the Current Shelter and Services Response to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking 2. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, USA Today, 2011
It’s estimated that every year, over 100,000 children are forced into prostitution in the United States. I am urging you to make fighting the child sex trafficking industry a priority in your state.
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This is an American problem, and we must put a stop to it by addressing both the demand and supply of this horrific industry. This means:
- Training law enforcement officers to recognize child traffickers
- Cracking down during major sporting events, which attract large numbers of sex traffickers
- Monitoring online sex ads and training civilians like cab drivers and hotel clerks to be on the lookout for possible prostitution
- Enacting harsher punishments for pimps and johns
- Reducing punishments for minors who have been involved in sex trafficking
- Keeping homeless shelters open to protect kids from falling prey to sex traffickers
- Funding programs to help homeless youth, including counseling and support
- Responding to the needs of victims by making sure they can leave the streets safely and permanently
Some states have already taken action on sex trafficking. Louisiana, Indiana and New Jersey have led human trafficking crackdowns during the Super Bowl.
In Florida, the Safe Harbor Act went into effect to ensure the safety of child victims. Instead of being criminalized, minors are placed in safe houses to receive treatment and protection from pimps. And in Arizona, the Attorney General’s Office is pushing for tougher criminal penalties for those soliciting and trafficking teenage prostitutes.
Will you join these states in making the fight against the sex trafficking of minors a priority?
We need to face the fact that this is an American problem. These are our kids, and we must protect them.
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