Across the globe, traffickers buy and sell children, exploiting them for sex and forced labor, and moving them across international borders. Child victims are trafficked into the United States from Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. In the United States, children are subjected to human trafficking in many different sectors.
Examples include prostitution on the streets or in a private residence, club, hotel, spa, or massage parlor; online commercial sexual exploitation; exotic dancing/stripping; agricultural, factory, or meatpacking work; construction; domestic labor in a home; restaurant/bar work; illegal drug trade; door-to-door sales, street peddling, or begging; or hair, nail, and beauty salons.
Family members, acquaintances, pimps, employers, smugglers, and strangers traffic children. They often prey upon the children’s vulnerabilities – their hopes for an education, a job, or a better life in another country – and may use psychological intimidation or violence to control the children and gain financial benefits from their exploitation.
Trafficked children may show signs of shame or disorientation; be hungry and malnourished; experience traumatic bonding (Stockholm syndrome) and fear government officials, such as police and immigration officers.