Human Trafficking of Young Children


The average age of child trafficking victims is between the ages of 11 – 14. Family members exclusively traffic most children under the age of 10. 74% of child trafficking involves sex trafficking, and the majority involves pimp-controlled prostitution. Approximately 1.2 million children are trafficked every year.

Children are trafficked for:

  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Benefit Fraud
  • Forced Marriage
  • Domestic Slavery Like Cleaning, Cooking and Childcare
  • Forced Labor In Factories Or Agriculture
  • Committing Crimes, Like Begging, Theft, Working On Cannabis Farms Or Moving Drugs                        

Pimps and traffickers manipulate children by using physical, emotional, and psychological abuse to keep them trapped in the life they have chosen for the children. Traffickers often beat, rape, and torture their victims. Some use drugs and alcohol to control them.

Human Trafficking Indicators: 

  • Living with employer.
  • Poor living conditions
  • Multiple people in cramped space.
  • Inability to speak to individual alone.
  • Answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed.
  • Employer is holding identity documents.
  • Signs of physical abuse.
  • Submissive or fearful.
  • Unpaid or paid very little.
  • Under 18 and in prostitution.   

On the hunt, traffickers target potential victims on social media, video gaming consoles, and chat rooms. Scouting, they look for ideal characteristics such as emotional neediness, low self-confidence, and economic stress. They use manipulation to gain trust. They play roles through casual conversations over weeks and sometimes over months. They’ll send current victims to interact with potential victims in order to gain trust, essentially acting as scouts. Traffickers utilize the information they’ve gathered to fill a role in the victim’s life. Victims become dependent upon the trafficker who gives them gifts, love, friendship, drugs or alcohol, establishing a dependent relationship with the victim. Traffickers wedge themselves between the victim and those closest to them, their friends and their family. The traffickers often claim a service they offered must be repaid. They typically demand sex as payment. Then, through threats, violence, fear or blackmail, the traffickers maintain full control over the victim.

Sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues within the sex industry, including residential brothels, escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and street prostitution. The commercial sex acts are induced by force, fraud or coercion induced to perform such acts under the age of 18 years old.

Labor trafficking has been found in diverse labor settings including domestic work, small businesses, large farms and factories. Children through the use of force, fraud, or coercion are subjected to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Human trafficking is fueled by a demand for cheap labor and for commercial sex. Traffickers believe the high profit margin to be worth the risk of detection. Many individuals are willing to buy commercial sex, which makes it profitable for traffickers to exploit children and adults. Consumers are willing to buy goods and services from industries that rely on forced labor. These industries create a profit incentive for labor traffickers to maximize revenue for them with minimal production costs.

Traffickers reap substantial monetary gains with relatively low risk of getting caught or losing profits.

The effects of human trafficking on children are devastating. They experience long-lasting physical and psychological trauma, sexually transmitted infections, substance use disorders, and eating disorders, unplanned pregnancy, and mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, and feelings of severe guilt.

There are also physical health problems that victims of child trafficking experience, such as inhumane living conditions, inadequate diet and hygiene, beatings and abuse, neglect, and denial of their basic human rights to health care and protection, which can result in lasting health problems.

Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat. It deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, it is a global health risk, and it fuels the growth of organized crime. This is happening around the world, including in the United States of America.


For “Services Available to Victims of Human Trafficking”

Resources Information Includes:



Clothing and Goods



Job Training Programs (Legal Age Teens and Adults)

Education Services


Crime Victim Compensation

Other Assistance

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center is a national toll-free hotline for the human trafficking field in the United States and is reached by calling 1-888-373-7888 or emailing NHTRC operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year to improve the national response to protect victims of human trafficking in the United States and provides a range of services including tip reporting.



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