Legislation in the United States has failed to properly address the issue of child sex trafficking, and each year thousands of victims are brought into America for use as sex slaves. The children involved in sex trafficking most often consist of runaways, kidnapped children, and lonely children looking for an adult’s attention. Because of the growing numbers, America can no longer ignore the epidemic of sex trafficking.
This article argues that Congress should immediately reauthorize the TVPA and all fifty states should adopt stronger human trafficking statutes with specific laws that are aimed at protecting child victims and strongly prosecuting the traffickers and the buyers. Additionally, resources must be found for the proper training of law enforcement in order to stop the improper prosecution of underage prostitution.
Part I of the article looks at the background of the federal government’s efforts to solve the problem of child sex trafficking and the problems with the current model. Part II of this article explores several state statutes that exist and the strengths and weaknesses of those statutes. Part III outlines steps that the government and states must actively pursue or partake in to better deal with the complex issue of sex trafficking. Part IV presents the reasons why Congress and individual states should adopt the steps and programs proposed.