Pervasive throughout the operation is the use of force,
emotional control, manipulation, drugs, and financial dependence.52
Traffickers create financial dependence by prohibiting victims from
attending school and seizing control of victims’ assets and money.53
In addition, traffickers often take victims’ driver’s licenses and birth
certificates, leaving the youth with no ability to support themselves if
they escape.54 Some traffickers use physical and sexual violence,
including gang rape, to keep the youths under the trafficker’s control
and force the victims to continue working in the sex industry.55 In
circumstances where the youths are addicted to drugs, the traffickers
use their ability to withhold or supply drugs as a means of control.56
As a result, these children are victims of the intricate and
lucrative operation that is domestic minor sex trafficking. Utilizing a
“trafficking victim-based model,”57 the federal law and policy
approaches the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking with a view of
children as victims instead of criminals.58 New York also employs
this model in its statutory scheme that targets domestic minor sex
III. Federal Policy & Legislation
In 2000, the TVPA was enacted,60 dramatically changing federal
policy on human trafficking. This legislation made a statement to the
country and the world that, as President Barack Obama stated in
52 See Walker-Rodriguez & Hill, supra note 31.
53 See SMITH ET AL., supra note 12, at 37.
54 See Walker-Rodriguez & Hill, supra note 31.
57 A “trafficking victim-based model” is one that, when employed by states, allows
the establishment of domestic minor sex trafficking policies that view children as
victims instead of criminals, enabling children to be protected instead of punished
for prostitution-related offenses. See discussion infra Part III.A.
58 Shelby Schwartz, Harboring Concerns: The Problematic Conceptual
Reorientation of Juvenile Prostitution Adjudication in New York, 18 COLUM. J.
GENDER & L. 235, 252 (2008).
60 Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 22 U.S.C.A. §§ 7101–7112 (West 2013).