This documentary is based in Phoenix, AZ, a couple of hours north of Tucson. In Arizona, child sex trafficking in the fastest growing criminal activity, as it is in the U.S. and the rest of the world (it is the 2nd largest criminal activity in the world now).
Part of the problem in AZ is that the drug cartels, who straddle the U.S.-Mexico border, have realized that they can only sell drugs once, but they can sell a child over and over and over again.
According to Sold No More, a Tucson-based anti-trafficking group:
Here is a striking graphic of the situation:
- Human trafficking is now the 2nd largest and fastest growing illegal trafficking activity in the world. (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2008)
- The annual market value of human trafficking is $32+ billion. (Ibid.) 80% of victims are women and 50% are children. (Trafficking in Persons Report 2007, U.S. Department of State)
- Globally, one million children are forced to work in the sex industry every year. (Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 2007)
- Among the millions trafficked each year, hundreds of thousands are teenage girls, some as young as five years of age. (Ibid)
- In the U.S., handlers, “pimps,” can make $100,000 a year, per child.
- Child pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry and among the fastest growing criminal segments on the Internet. Child pornography fuels the child sex trade. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
- 450,000 children run away from home each year in the U.S.. A third of those lured into sex slavery are taken within 48 hours of leaving home. (Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 2007)
- The average age a child is first commercially sexually exploited in the U.S. is 13 years of age. (Ibid)
- Fewer than 1,000 minor sex trafficking victims in the U.S. have been assisted by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies since 2001. (Ibid)
- 10% of trafficked children were kidnapped. (Karla Dial, “Reaching Into the Dark,” Citizen Magazine, March 2010, 5)
This is tough to watch - but awareness breeds action. We need to put an end to this form of slavery.
Prostitute. Hooker. Floozy. Call girl. Lady of the Night. Streetwalker.
Society stamps a negative label on the women of this dangerous criminal industry. However, a fine line must be drawn between those women doing it by choice and the victims who have no choice.
Sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. There are more than 100,000 minors forced into the sex trade every year in the U.S., with an average age of only 13. They are first recruited, forced, coerced, or abducted by a pimp or his workers. Then they are beaten, raped, brainwashed, and treated as commodities. Some of these victimized women can bring in $15,000 a week. The pimp usually receives every penny.
There are more slaves today than at any other time in our history. Slavery in the form of sex trafficking is among us in a hidden and quiet fashion. It’s in our neighborhoods and in our malls. It’s in our suburbs, it's leaking into our schools, and it's all over the Internet. Education and awareness are the best tools we have at stopping this heinous crime.
Stuck in Traffick is a documentary that brings light to the underground world of sex trafficking and what can be done to help these victims.