“Child sexual exploitation is the most hidden form of child abuse in the US and North America Today. It is the nation’s least recognized epidemic.”
- Dr Richard J. Estes, University of Pennsylvania
Human trafficking, the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor, is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world today. It is now tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest international criminal enterprise, after the illegal drug trade. According to the U.S. Department of State’s 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released this past June 2010, approximately 1 out of every 555 people in the world is a victim of human trafficking.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Protocol). The impact of the Palermo Protocol has been remarkable—today, 166 countries have become a party to the Protocol. Many countries have implemented the “3P” paradigm of prosecuting traffickers, protecting victims, and preventing the crime through the passage and implementation of national anti-trafficking laws. Countries continue to update their legal framework to better address this crime. In 2014, Haiti enacted the Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Burundi also enacted its first anti-trafficking law in 2014. In March 2015, the United Kingdom enacted the Modern Slavery Act to refine the country’s legal framework. - U.S. Department of State’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report
All images copyright Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong