Child trafficking: a definition
Child trafficking is the recruitment, coercion, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of children under the age of 18 for the purpose of exploitation. It is a violation of their rights and their well-being and denies them the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Child trafficking occurs in all 50 U.S. states
Trafficking need not involve international borders. Trafficking can — and frequently does — occur within a single country. According the U.S. Department of State 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, 77 percent of trafficking victims are exploited within their country of residence.
National Human Trafficking Hotline statistics show a 25 percent jump in human trafficking cases from 2017 to 2018. This includes sex and labor trafficking. Of the more than 23,500 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2018, 1 in 7 were likely victims of child sex trafficking.
Most trafficking victims in the United States are U.S. citizens
Many people assume the majority of trafficking victims in the U.S. are undocumented immigrants. In reality, most domestic trafficking victims are U.S. citizens.
Here’s how you can help end child trafficking
You can be part of the solution. Take Action today in the following ways:
- Send an email to your local elected officials urging them to keep traffickers and trafficking victims top of mind
- Join UNICEF UNITE
- Become a monthly donor
- Spread the word by sharing this article or posting on your own social media accounts using the UNICEF USA Social Press Kit and the hashtag #EndTrafficking