Sample Term Paper On Trading In Juveniles For Sex: Profiteering From Misery
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Trafficking Juveniles for sex
One of the serious concerns that have been steadily growing in the United States is trading children for purposes of sexual exploitation. The sale for “child sex,” as well as other forms of illegal sexual profiteering of children is stable, and the profits of sex traders is rising. Though police elements, policy crafters, social welfare elements, and the general public have long acknowledged the prevalence of this “practice,” these stakeholders have wrestled on how to accurately measure the breadth of “child sex trafficking” and develop policies to effectively combat the problem from a holistic point of view.
Within the criminal justice system, the police as well as prosecution services are tasked with fact-finding and litigating the “supply side” of the problem and the “demand side” of the issue. Furthermore, aside from the issues in litigating buyers as well as sellers, the law enforcement establishment is faced with issues on how to treat the children whose bodies were “traded” like merchandise.
Often times, police officers are the first line response mechanism that sex trafficking victims come into contact with. Here, the capacity of the police to identify the victims, examine the cases and properly refer the cases is critical. Simply put, juvenile sex trafficking victims will come into contact first with the victims before child service officials or juvenile welfare elements will be able to talk to the children. With this possibility in mind, lawmakers and policy makers have centered on law enforcement and the pivotal role of the juvenile justice system in countering child sex trading.
Obstacles to caring for juveniles victimized by sex traffickers instead of miscreants include a dearth of expertise and establishing the identity of the victim by police and other law enforcement officers. In addition, there are insufficient safe facilities where the children victims can get sufficient adequate refuge and functional services. With this set of factors, a number of state and local jurisdictions have either enacted laws or enforced equipping workshops on “human trafficking awareness,” and develop strong community ties that can help the child victim to transition from the halls of the criminal justice system and into functional service scenarios (Finklea, 2014, pp. 1-9).
“Juvenile sex trafficking,” or in legal parlance “Domestic minor sex trafficking,” is an enterprise of trading in sexual activities with minors/children. The capitalists in this “business” have a sole objective in pursuing this trade is to obtain profits; the “workers” engage in this enterprise participate with the goal of gaining financial rewards. However, monetary compensation is not the sole motivation; refuge, illegal drugs, or any item that has value can be motivations for these workers to continue in this endeavor.
The sellers provide the services and products to their clients-the bodies of the children that are sold at profit. The clients are not from a single group-these come from all age groups, social stations, racial backgrounds, and majority of the “clients” are male. Depending on the person’s finances, predilections, and readiness of the person to be exposed, the customer can choose on the “product” and “method of payment.” The methods that the customers locate the “products” include browsing through advertisements on the Internet, “strip clubs,” lodging facilities, and even “word of mouth” referrals (Gabilondo, Tulpule, 2013, p. 6).
Peddled juveniles can be engaged in a number of commercial sex activities such as “pimp controlled prostitution,” “escort service” providers, pornography, and “cyber pornography” activities, among others. But these can be found in other activities under the ambit of the “trader,” such as in sales of illegal narcotics, or enlisting and locating possible “products (Human Trafficking and State Courts Collaborative, 2013, p. 2).
The primary law in litigating sex trafficking cases is the 2000 Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA). In interpreting the crime of “severe forms of trafficking in persons,” the law cites the act of “sex trafficking” as well as that of illegal trade in laborers. Both forms of trading involve a degree of deceit, force, or intimidation. “Sex trafficking” in the context of the TVPA cites that when a juvenile below 18 years of age is involved, then the elements of deceit, violence, and intimidation need not be established for the crime of trafficking to be set.
Simply put, with regards to prosecuting a sex trader, when a minor is a variable in the crime, the person is a victim of sex trafficking. With the TVPA geared towards adolescents engaged in prostitution as sex trafficking gudgeons, Federal intervention efforts are focused at interdicting the suppliers as well as the patrons of the commercial sex industry. On the Federal level, the criminals are prosecuted using three main legal mechanisms- the Mann Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), and the TVPA (Finklea, 2014, p. 2).,
The trade in human beings is considered as a modern day version of forced servitude where individuals exploit others for financial gain. Though enslavement is held to be an archaic concept, “human trafficking” still pervades in America and in the world. These traders will use intimidation, violence, and molestation to cajole their “products” to engage in the sex trade or pressure them to provide slave labor against their choice. In the context of the United States, “sex trafficking” generally occurs in a number of venues-online escort providers, brothels set up in private residences, bagnios masquerading as spas, as well as street based prostitution.
These are commonly beguiled into these activities by deceptive claims of a high paying job, educational opportunities, or even marriage or being in a relationship. Though the victims are from different demographic sectors, those that are more often targeted by traffickers are runaway youths, victims of sexual attacks, war or civil conflicts, or social marginalization (Polaris, 2015, p. 1).
There is literature that shows a resilient link regarding the station in life of the child and the exposure of the child to commercial sex. Marginalization, a strong contributing factor, essays a critical role in profiteering from commercial child sex activities by generating paucity in terms of primary needs such as shelter and food, as well as in safety. Nevertheless, poverty must not only be understood in terms of lack of income. Individuals on the fringes of society get inferior access to health care services, food, shelter, as well as opportunities. Poor people often can de described as having unstable family units, inadequate education, political marginalization, and lack of productive employment. According to Sen (2001), poverty and the impacts of this impoverishment increase the risk factor for the children to be victimized by sex traffickers (Gabilondo, Tulpule, 2013, p. 8).
Traders are supremely adept at entrapping juveniles into their enterprise as these elements go to the places where the youths are. Educational institutions, recreational and leisure facilities, libraries, homeless shelters, and “group homes”-all of these locations attract these child sex traders to cater to the needs that the victim is craving for. If the youth is looking for care and attentions from the parents, the trader will assume the role of the parent; if the person needs to have a safe place to rest, then the trafficker will provide that need. Lastly, the youth will look for love and care and the trafficker will assume the role of the best friend or loved ones, and emphasize that the trafficker is the only one who is willing to take time and understand them. These approaches develop a sense of reliance and a fabricated need for family linkages in the victims for the traffickers.
The “products” are marketed and flaunted in many avenues where the clients can see them. In the research study A Garden of Truth, the study shows the “systems of prostitution” that evinces the features of this mechanism. These include “survival sex,” where the “product” engages in forced sexual services for food and refuge or employment in massage parlors; word of mouth, however, is not that effective in terms of exposure or gaining new customers. Online methods such as Internet advertising and marketing are the traditional and favored method utilized for trading in “juvenile sex services.”
The Internet as well as other technological developments has given traffickers to take advantage of market opportunities that was previously thought to be unreachable. Merchants make use of the opportunities of using the Internet by way of websites to market, set up, and even buy sex with children. In addition, traders, regardless of the size of their operations, heavily depend on the Internet to showcase their “products” and “services.” A site such as Backpage.com entails every little capital and does not require extensive knowledge of the Internet.
The traders photograph their “products” and then upload the pictures by way of phones or computers. The placement has a contact number that either belongs to the victim or to the trader. When the advertisement is transferred and a venue is taken, business transactions can start. “Smart phones” help widen the client base of the traffickers as well as monitor the “products.” The United States Department of Justice has identified online-powered child trafficking as an increasing threat (Gabilondo, Tulpule, 2013, p. 7).
Traders can assume varying roles for the “trafficked;” flesh peddlers act to establish a relationship with a potential juvenile victim and pervert them, or if the need arises, to seize them and proceed to sell them. There are times is aided by peers who enlist their friends to online marketing ads, panderers and other traders. Other arrangers include taxi drivers, tapsters, hotel staff or any individual or party that can help in connecting the traders to a possible product.
There are indicators that victims in criminal cases have been subjected to human trafficking; however, it can prove to be extremely burdensome. Adolescents are uncomplicated targets for criminal predators that are engaged in nefarious activities such as hustling; furthermore, these criminal elements intensify the criminal involvement of their victims by forcing them to commit other crimes. Among the crimes that these victims get into conflict with the law include selling narcotics for the human traders; thievery, and even aiding the trafficker in enlisting others into the trade. Here, the “trafficked” morphs into the “trafficker”.
Another difficulty in this light is that the victims may not comprehend themselves as such. The victim here may be deluded into believing that even though the person has been subjected to repeated abuses, the person frames the abuser as a friend or even as a parent. Juvenile victims of sex trafficking have shown in the past a tendency for anti-social dispositions and can exhibit hostility and mistrust of authority figures. In this light, these victims may deceive the authorities into framing themselves in another light other than victims of sex trafficking.
Owing to their affinity to the traders and their general mistrust of government or even authority figures, these would turn out to be hostile witnesses, further complicating the need in identifying them as witnesses. Another problematic area is the identification of “at-risk” juveniles. “Status offenses” such as cutting classes and running away from homes committed by juveniles can increase the risk at being victimized by sex traffickers. Moreover, juveniles involved in substance abuse and dependency cases may be inordinately exposed to victimization for a number of factors that can be revealed in the course of legal proceedings (Human Trafficking and State Courts Collaborative, 2013, p. 2).
Commercial sex patrons pay for the services with cash or with material compensation; society, however, pays for the crime of sex trafficking in another way. Among the financial drains that juvenile sex trafficking can inflict on society include unnecessary increases in public expenditures, decreasing revenue potential from income taxes, and wasted human resources. Taxes have to be redirected to public health concerns, inclusive of cruelty, pregnancies, substance abuse and dependency, and an array of mental illnesses. Apart from these issues, law enforcement issues such legal proceedings, incarceration and imprisonment, and custody; social welfare factors such as child safety and defense, medical aid, and income and welfare assistance take a toll on public coffers (Gabilondo, Tulpule, 2013, p. 7).
The overload on social welfare policies also rises as more victims are entrapped in the commercial sex enterprise. Majority of sex workers are adolescent mothers with very young children. Rising statistics for teenage pregnancy have impacts on the child welfare mechanism as costs that are related to pregnancy are elevate and access to fetal care is inadequate. Public participation in the cause of “child protection” will inflict additional expenses in “foster care” and adoption policies. The commercial child sex industry negatively impacts the public budget by decreasing actualize revenues.
All of the transactions of this sector is done “underground” and thus will not be likely to benefit government coffers by way of taxes or any other forms of legal revenues. In the same breath, the possible earnings the victims can earn in legal employment opportunities during the victim’s “employable years” cannot contribute to the prevailing economy and the overall life stability of the victim will be severely impacted. Furthermore, reduced earnings will also levy additional costs on government financed income assistance programs such as Social Security, pension finances, and Medicare; when the funds are exhausted, the funds designated for them will be non-existent (Gabilondo, Tulpule, 2013, p. 8).
As long as the demand is strong, an industry will continue to evolve to satisfy the growth of the market for the “product.” To meet the rising demand, traders will increase their activities by way of increasing the supply base and their logistics network. The majority of the demand for child sex is provided by men; however, men are not the only market that these traders look out for. Men and women as well as members of the LGBTQ community buy their “products.”
Commercial child sex trafficking is a clandestine underground business that makes it almost impossible to find it’s most treacherous and aggressive clients. Should the demand cease to be there, the commercial sex trade would stop operating. Furthermore, while centering on the supply side of the transaction, there is also a need to focus on the demand side of the undertaking as hunters (Gabilondo, Tulpule, 2013, p. 12). Society must be concerned with commercial sex trafficking not only for the negative impacts the crime has on society, but more importantly because of the destructive effects it has on the children.
Finklea, K. (2014) “Juvenile victims of domestic sex trafficking: Juvenile justice issues.” Retrieved 20 February 2015 from <http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43677.pdf
Gabilondo, A., Tulpule, G. (2013) “Why should we care about juvenile sex trafficking?” Retrieved 20 February 2015 from <http://www.lwvmpls.org/wp-content/uploads/here.pdf
Human Trafficking and the States Courts Collaborative (2013) “Dealing with human trafficking victims in a juvenile case.” Retrieved 20 February 2015 from <http://www.htcourts.org/wp-content/uploads/HT_Victims_inJuvenileCases_v02.pdf?InformationCard=Dealing-With-HT-Victims-Juvenile
Polaris (2015) “Human trafficking” Retrieved 20 February 2015 from <http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview
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