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Sex Trafficking in America - Essay Example

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This paper is an attempt to, briefly, explore, and understand the extent and depth of sex trafficking within the United States, the actions taken by the government to combat this problem and the way forward. Sex trafficking is often associated with South Asian and Southeast Asian countries…
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Sex Trafficking in America
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Sex Trafficking in America

This paper is an attempt to, briefly, explore, and understand the extent and depth of sex trafficking within the United States, the actions taken by the government to combat this problem and the way forward. Discussion Significant here to note is that almost all the statistics regarding this trafficking are unreliable and incomplete because many of these activities are taking place off the grid and underground. However, some statistics indicate that at least 0.1 million and as much as 0.3 million children within the United States are victims of sex trafficking within the country. During the past few months, many US states have passed legislation considering the increasing seriousness of this problem. The State of Virginia, during the first week of May 2012, passed new anti-human trafficking laws. It was on April 5, 2012, that Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed the legislation, which criminalized human trafficking within West Virginia thus effectively making it the 49th state to pass anti-human trafficking laws, with only Wyoming left as the only state in the absence of any anti-human trafficking laws. Earlier in November 2011, Massachusetts became the 48th state pass such legislation according to which the pimps and other running brothels and forcing women and children into labor and sexual exploitation would receive life imprisonment. Furthermore, the law would also treat the women and children forced into prostitution as victims rather than offenders. In the aftermath of the report, which indicated, that every year over 1000 US-born children are forced into sex trade and more than 800 immigrants become the victim for trafficking in the state of Ohio, the policymakers in the state created an anti-human trafficking task force. However, human rights activists and NGOs still believe that US has a lot to do to protect the victims of sex trafficking and discourage such events from happening in the near future. Even today, USA is a tier 1 country for trafficking that means that the government is only meeting the minimum requirements to solve the problem. Furthermore, unlike Massachusetts in many other states, the trafficking laws and law enforcement agencies, rather than providing relief to the victims consider them as the offenders. More importantly, these people, even when freed from sexual exploitation and bonded labour, these people have to face the social stigma associated with their past lives. They fail to become well functioning members of the society because the authorities refuse to clear their records. On top of it, even if they try to become a part of the society, multiple arrests, incarceration, housing discrimination, employment discrimination, deportation and presence of a criminal record prevent them from doing so. Furthermore, many states have also failed to include safe harbor clauses into the anti-trafficking laws to protect the minors, eliminate their liability, and recognize them as victims. ... Read More
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