industry.31 Once the trafficker identifies the needs of the child—
including shelter, food, and the support of a family—the trafficker
convinces the child that he can fulfill those needs.32 For example, in
Dallas, Texas, two traffickers, a man and a woman, offered a twelve-year-old child a safe place to sleep, but “when the minor accepted the
offer, the traffickers took her to a strip club and forced her to
This population of children shares common characteristics
that create a higher risk for their victimization and commercial sexual
exploitation. The vulnerability of these children and their need for
love and support makes them easy targets for traffickers to coerce
into the operation of human sex trafficking.
B. The operation
It is commonly believed that only adult women voluntarily
work in the commercial sex industry, primarily in prostitution, to
provide for themselves due to a lack of other survival options.34
However, in 75 to 80 percent35 of cases “[a] pimp traffics young
women—and sometimes men—completely against their will by force
31 Amanda Walker-Rodriguez & Rodney Hill, Human Sex Trafficking, FBI L.
ENFORCEMENT BULL., Mar. 2011, available at
bulletin/march_2011/human_sex_trafficking (noting that “[traffickers] have an
especially easy time establishing a strong bond with young girls. These perpetrators
may promise marriage and a lifestyle the youths often did not have in their previous
familial relationships. They claim they ‘love’ and ‘need’ the victim and that any
sex acts are for their future together. In cases where the children have few or no
positive male role models in their lives, the traffickers take advantage of this fact
and, in many cases, demand that the victims refer to them as ‘daddy,’ making it
tougher for the youths to break the hold the perpetrator has on them.”).
33 See SMITH ET AL., supra note 12, at 38.
34 JOE PARKER, HOW PROSTITUTION WORKS 11 (1998),
that “[m]any people prefer to view prostitution as a ‘lifestyle choice,’ or even an
‘addiction’ to a lifestyle. . . . Society assumes that nothing can be done to help
them, so there is no need to try. The pimps count on it”).
35 Amy Fine Collins, Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door, VANITY
FAIR (May 24, 2011), http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/05/sex-