Most people would be surprised to hear that the United States is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. According to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s State Department’s recently released “Trafficking in Persons” report, the top three nations of origin for victims of human trafficking in 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Philippines.
At the heart of the human trafficking trade in America is simple economics: Supply and demand. As stated by Geoff Rogers co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking in an interview with Fox News: “The United States is the No. 1 consumer of sex, so we are driving the demand as a society.”
Because of this demand, traffickers are filling that demand with supply using our very own kids. According to the State Department report, children in foster care, homeless youth, undocumented immigrant children, and those with substance abuse problems were especially at risk to fall into the human trafficking trap.
This report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services documents how over 300,000 of America’s young population is considered at risk for sexual exploitation. It’s also estimated that 199,000 incidents occur within the U.S. each year.
In the United States, human trafficking tends to occur around international travel-hubs with large immigrant populations, notably California, Texas, Georgia and Florida, although sex trafficking occurs in every state.
Most in prostitution have experienced trafficking in some form
A Fortune article of April 14, 2019, US Sex trafficking, US slavery, notes that “Slavery is alive and well in the land of the free.” It goes on to state: “With human trafficking now a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide and cases increasing in the United States, activists are trying to squash the myth that most women who work as prostitutes do so because they want to.”
Not so, according to Nicole Bell, founder and CEO of Living in Freedom Together (LIFT) who worked as a prostitute after being trafficked as a teen: “Most people in prostitution have experienced trafficking in some form. Most were brought into this before they were old enough to consent to have sex—never mind to being sold for sex.”
Said Dr. Sharon Cooper, founder and CEO of Developmental and Forensic Pediatrics, some of the biggest factors that lead vulnerable children to become vulnerable adults are poverty, homelessness, abuse at home, the foster system, and glamorization of the sex industry—what is essentially a “pipeline of vulnerability.”
“The general public thinks that trafficking of girls occurs in inner cities,” said Cooper. “We’ve seen cases where girls were taken to farms and sold to migrant farmers, drugged in order to become compliant. We’ve seen girls who have been living in homeless shelters, and who come out of the homeless shelter just to walk down the street, but that homeless shelter has been cased by traffickers who will then drive down the street and say, ‘Hey I have a job for you and you can get the tips.’ This is the kind of thing if you offered to a homeless child they would will absolutely believe is authentic and is an okay thing to do.”
Human trafficking is estimated to bring in global profits of about $150 billion a year—two-thirds of which, or $99 billion, is from sexual exploitation, according to the International Labor Organization. Nearly 9,000 cases in the U.S. were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline in 2017—a 13% increase from the prior year, according to the Polaris Project. But this data is incomplete, as cases are severely under reported.
Sex trafficking featured on Levin’s “Life, Liberty, and Levin”
On Sunday, August 11, 2019, film maker Jaco Booyens sat down with Mark Levin on his Sunday Fox show, Life, Liberty, and Levin to discuss his fight for American children as he takes on the global sex trafficking crisis. As Booyens told Mark Levin, “Sex trafficking, especially of children, is a diabolical scourge that still affects the modern world, but the depth and scope of this evil are worse than you probably imagine.”
Booyens didn’t jump on a bandwagon by reading a book or joining a movement that he felt led to, but because of a dire situation when his sister became a victim of sex trafficking when growing up in South Africa. Booyens’ sister—now Ilonka Deaton—was trafficked through corporate South Africa over the course of six years. When Booyens’ sister eventually came home, “It was a long, very painful journey that seldom has that outcome.”
When asked by Levin what the typical outcome was, Booyens replied: “Death. The average lifespan of a child that’s trafficked is seven years. Because with it comes addiction, physical abuse, emotional abuse; suicide rate is through the ceiling, because how do you get out?”
It was shocking to hear Booyens say that the United States leads the world with the lowest average age of trafficking, 12. Booyens also noted that a child trafficking victim in the United States will bring a pimp $200,000 to $250,000 per year tax-free, which brings forth so many takers from all walks of life.
While Booyens is glad that the high-profile arrest of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein put attention on the issue of sex trafficking—Epstein had not yet died in jail when the show aired—he has a big problem with the what he sees as a widespread assumption, that the sex slave market is only a problem among the ultra-wealthy. As Booyens related, “the wealthy is involved, so is the middle class, so is the lower class.” Calling the situation sick, Booyens claimed “you could almost order a child as you order pizza—you like cheese, I like pepperoni, etc., etc.”
In reference to the worldwide diabolical scourge of sex trafficking prevalent in this nation, Booyens argued how sex trafficking is rooted in sex addiction fueled by mass media. “It is sex addiction that in its core is fueled … it starts with a pornographic culture, soft porn, it’s the objectification of women—which we as a country have done a great job at completely objectifying women.” Specifically, Booyens said, “Hollywood was to blame along with the Internet.”
Booyens’ 2014 film, 8 Days, was inspired by real-life events and tells those stories through the narrative of a teenage girl who is forced into the sex trade and eventually returns home. The film is available on Netflix and elsewhere.
Although Booyens tried to take his story to CNN and MSNBC, he faced “closed doors.” Booyens mused, “the crime of sex trafficking doesn’t ask if you’re conservative or liberal.” In answer to Levin’s question of whether the other networks were too busy with an ideological agenda to air his story, he said, “You want to believe they’re too busy to pay attention, and yes they are because they’re busy with silly stuff—accusing the president, who by the way is the president in United States history, legitimately, that’s done more to protect children who are potentially and currently in a sex trafficking environment.”
If we think that sex trafficking is bad now, the fact that one million illegal immigrants—many unrelated children—have crossed the border with the assistance of the cartel, is going to plague law enforcement for decades. No one knows the real number of children trafficked in the U.S. We can cite the numbers of missing children based on those that police report to NCIC. Many missing and endangered children are lured into trafficking by these dangerous pimps.
These are difficult cases to prosecute because the traffickers are always on the move, traveling from one community to the next…always one step ahead of law enforcement. We need the eyes and ears of the public. We need to prosecute the johns. If we can address and stem the demand for sex with minors, we can begin to make a dent on trafficking. This crime operates in secrecy and the covert nature of it makes it very difficult to uncover. Furthermore, the violent cartel drug lords also operate in this enterprise since it is so lucrative. Unlike drugs, children can be resold time and again. They are a commodity that has a long shelf life.
The Epoch Times’ interviewed Rep. Chip Roy from Texas on this topic at the 2019 Western Conservative Summit held in Denver, CO, July 12 – 13. Discussed is the escalating border crisis, including the transportation of dangerous narcotics, the exploitation of children, and abuse of women. It is an interview worth listening to; Rep. Roy is a former federal prosecutor and knows precisely the severe nature of the crisis
Rep. Roy has led the fight for border security in Congress and believes Congress members should remain in town and do their jobs. He also believes in what the American people desire: border enforcement.
Roy spoke of an immigration system that has been broken for a long time, driven by cartels who profit by raking in hundreds of millions of dollars. Sponsors of illegal immigrants know that when moving people through Mexico, once they get to our southern border children serve as a ticket to get into this country. Not only are little children and women abused by the cartels—children are also recycled—but cartels are also responsible for massive amounts on narcotics flowing across our border.
According to Rep. Roy,
- There might be only 60 people manning the whole Texas border at any one time, because so many of the agents must spent time in facilities processing people.
- This nation does allow 1.2 million immigrants to enter every year.
- 1/3 of all incarcerated prisoners are not born in the U.S.
- Whether a good thing of not, 14% of our nation consists of those who are foreign born.
Might it be time to slow down and do the right thing?
Building the wall is necessary and urgent!