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FBI Cracks Down on Child Trafficking in the U.S., Finds Shocking Results

FBI Cracks Down on Child Trafficking in the U.S., Finds Shocking Results

This is a guest post from Covenant House

The FBI’s largest action to date focusing on the rescue of sexually exploited children resulted in the arrests of 159 pimps this summer from all over the country who were involved in the commercial exploitation of children.

The FBI canvassed streets, motels, casinos and social media platforms over a three-day period to rescue over 100 teenagers, most of them vulnerable young girls preyed upon by pimps, who enticed them with offers of food, money, safety and love.

“This successful effort by the FBI proves once again that child sex trafficking is much more prevalent in our country than most people would like to believe,” said Covenant House president Kevin Ryan. “Across the country at our Covenant House shelters for homeless kids, there is an all too common story that leads a young person to being forced into sex slavery — a teenager who is homeless or estranged from his or her family is picked up at a train station or on the streets and then is offered some form of security or safety, which eventually ends up being in return for forced sex labor. This FBI sweep shows that this is happening every day, in every city across the country, at an alarming rate.”

Covenant House applauds the efforts of the FBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and all our partners in the fight to stop the buying and selling of children.

“We need to fight this war against traffickers on all fronts,” said Ryan. “We need to train more police and social workers on the frontlines to identify human trafficking. We need many more states to enact Safe Harbor Laws ensuring that prostituted minors are not arrested, and instead are sheltered and helped to escape the bonds of sex slavery. And more states need to provide resources to help trafficking victims escape the circumstances that led to their enslavement.”

The needs of trafficked youths can be overwhelming. They often have few family ties and have fallen years behind in school. They need shelter, medical care and counseling. Given how difficult it is to escape prostitution, with many victims fearing for their lives if they try to escape, it is crucial that states and the federal government take up the cause of trafficking victims with more determination and focus, so these children and teenagers can have the bright, safe futures they deserve.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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122 comments

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5:02PM PST on Nov 15, 2013

how terribly sad :(

12:53PM PDT on Oct 18, 2013

one good way to stop or slow this might be to print names and photos of perpetrators in their areas' papers/tv, when they are caught, put them on sex offender list FOREVER. ugh.

10:15AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

“They need shelter, medical care and counseling…” yes they do but at this point they also need to get back into the educational system fast...even if it's on line first. These kids need secular institutions or safe houses they can go to find help; and teachers and school administrators should have enough knowledge to evaluate a troubled child to direct them or even take them to help.

Hugh W I agree with you too often it seems we are putting band aids on our problems and ignoring the root cause of them. But I must add many children who grow up in homes without a male role model do just fine; and the reason I believe is they are taught self-respect, respect for others and property; they are taught the value of education and encourage in their endeavors and taught with effort they can be just about anything they want to be. They are shown love and affection and told these will be unconditional their entire life. They are taught responsibility and accountability; they are taught the two adults in the home are their parents and although they are also a friend first and foremost they are parents who will be there for them their entire life.

If one chooses to have children one must realize they are your top priority or you could very well be altering their lives in a negative way forever and one day you and that life, your child might be sadly thinking about what could have been…if only…

8:15AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

Sad that children all over the world are exploited. Once again where is UNICEF & other childrens organisations that should be preventing children from being abused etc. We have a long way to go in order to clamp down on the perpetrators & the best punishment is death to all pimps, paedophiles, child traffickers etc.These low life must be taken out of society!

5:01AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

Horrible that anyone could abuse, exploit a child.

4:38AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

I look to the fathers of these children and the perpetrators, and the johns. Where were you in the lives of the victims and the perpetrators? Would someone male/female become a pimp if they had a strong and good male role model in their lives? Would someone be found in a precarious situation and be easy prey for these pimps, if they had a strong and good role model? We have to look at one of the root cause first, or we may never address this true crisis.

Or, what about the john, if they had a strong and good male role model, would they need to pay for sex with a child or feel the need to abuse some child or broken woman?

2:13AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

Thank you for the info

2:04PM PDT on Oct 16, 2013

I't sad to know all of this is happening to out children and been going on for years.The Covenant House applauds the efforts of the FBI.We need more work forces.Bless the Children and keep them safe.

1:05PM PDT on Oct 16, 2013

Ooops - FBI - must of been a Freudian slip.

1:04PM PDT on Oct 16, 2013

The CIA didn't know about this? Really???

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