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At-Risk Youth and Sex Trafficking Issue

Introduction

Children are an important part of life and an integral asset to society. Healthy development and growth are that which is responsible for the continued development of human civilization. By encouraging and securing Children’s safe upbringing, people can establish a society that will be carried on into the future. Despite the need to protect and raise children, many dangers exist that can put the mental and physical health of a child at risk. Such risks can come from a variety of sources, including society itself, nature, and accidents. One of the most reprehensible and universally condemned ways to harm a child is sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. The practice is universally outlawed, as it has a severe effect on a child’s emotional, psychological, and physical development. This essay attempts to look at the issue of child sex trafficking and provide a better understanding of its harms. First, the meaning of the term will be explained, along with an overview of all the affected groups of individuals. The effects of this practice will also be examined, including the range of consequences, physical, social, and mental. Lastly, preferred solutions to the issue and approaches to addressing sex trafficking will be discussed. The overall goal of this paper.

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What is Sex Trafficking and Who is Affected

Sex trafficking is a part of the larger process of human trafficking, which is defined by recruitment and transportation of people through means of force, coercion, deception, or other methods (What is Human Trafficking? n.d). The purposes of this transportation can vary, ranging from sexual exploitation, labor, slavery, or organ harvesting (What is Human Trafficking? n.d). Many victims of trafficking have come into harm’s way on accident or in desperation, which is used by malicious entities for profit and personal gain. The business of human trafficking is largely an underground activity, with trafficking rings being kept secret. Many such organizations operate on a worldwide basis, having their operation in different countries and transferring people. The people that are trafficked to engage in sexual activities against their will are victims of sex trafficking. This process can be especially harmful when a child is involved in the process. Generally, it is accepted that children are prohibited from engaging in sexual acts and should be protected accordingly. Violating that law constitutes abuse and rape, and can be especially dangerous to younger children.

All groups of children are in danger of sex trafficking, but those living in particular conditions are under more risk than others. In most cases, children of middle-income families are not under a considerable threat of being affected, with those with struggling families being affected the most (N., n.d). Those children that live in poor, underdeveloped countries, or under conditions of poverty can be more easily coerced into human trafficking, and fewer efforts can be dispatched for their recovery, which improves the trafficker’s chances of success (N., n.d). War and natural disasters are also a factor, as they can bring otherwise stable communities into danger. Children can be kept in both through the use of force and less direct methods, such as intimidation, threats, gaslighting, shaming, and monetary dependence (Human Trafficking: The Problem). The kids are separated from their communities, displaced, and used for horrific purposes that are entirely detrimental to their growth.

The Effects

The effects of sex trafficking can be varied in their lasting impact and severity, which, however, does not excuse the reprehensibility of the act itself. The most apparent consequences are physical, which can be evident from a glance and recorded by a physician (Bocinski, n. d.). Such effects include scars and bruises, broken skin tissue, or other signs of physical violence, as well as injuries specific to the nature of sex trafficking. Such injuries are of private qualities and can affect a person’s future reproductive function and health. The spread of STIs and other diseases spread through blood is also a significant part of the process, as children are potentially exposed to more than one sexual partner.

In terms of psychological and emotional damage, the issue of sex trafficking is a bit less apparent but just as severe. Many psychological issues stem from suffering abuse at a young age, which is especially true in cases of sexual violence and rape. Anxiety and fear of other people, involuntary response to various stimuli, and other kinds of emotional trauma are prevalent (Kaylor, 2015). An inability to trust other people, especially those older than oneself may also be exhibited, which will complicate the person’s life in the world. Emotional detachment or dissociation can also occur, created as a way to protect the child’s mind from trauma. This consequence can prevent a child from seeking proper therapy and emotionally connecting with people on a deeper level. Issues of self-worth, suicidal ideations, and self-harm induced by shame can also plague a child’s mind.

Victims of child sexual exploitation further experience other consequences that affect their lives on a long-term scale. The economic stability and the futures of trafficked children are especially at risk, as they experience the consequences of their painful past. An absence of work experience that is applicable in society or officially recorded makes an opportunity to find stable and secure employment almost impossible (Bocinski, n. d.). A lack of proper savings or an ability to save money puts such children into poverty that is difficult to get out of. The efforts of criminalizing sex trafficking also hinder the victim’s ability to get back to leading proper lives and put them in danger of incarceration (Bocinski, n.d). Social stigma against victims of child sex trafficking is also a big part of the problem, as it can blame participating in sexual acts on children, instead of their abusers.

Possible Solutions and Approaches

There are several potential ways to counteract the sex trafficking of children, many of them needing to be understood and practiced by children to be effective. The first step is being educated and having the necessary knowledge about the process of sex trafficking (Preventing Child Sex Trafficking, n. d.). That can allow individuals to spot victims and potentially rescue them from the trafficking stream. The second step includes being aware of potential red flags of a person being a subject to sex trafficking (Preventing Child Sex Trafficking, n. d.). These can include absences from school, possession of multiple cellphones, malnourishment, and signs of physical abuse. Other signs can also include indicators of drug addiction and the presence of an older person that exhibits abusive behavior. The third step for recognizing and counteracting sex trafficking is taking possible signs seriously and reporting potential cases to the authorities. Raising general awareness in the local community and promoting education about sex trafficking can also safeguard more individuals and potentially save already affected victims (Preventing Child Sex Trafficking, n. d.). The last step of the plan is taking active involvement, which includes being engaged with potential victims and being there to support their well-being. This includes taking into account the living situation and paying close attention to people that are close to them, which can help one to intervene in cases of child sex trafficking.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, the topic of sex trafficking warrants serious attention from both the authorities and regular people. As an issue that can negatively affect society’s most vulnerable demographic, the issue of sex trafficking needs to be opposed heavily. While many of the victims come from bad circumstances or have family situations that make them more susceptible to outside manipulation, the issue can affect any child, and people need to be aware of that. Leading to a variety of consequences, sex trafficking can impede a child’s ability to live a normal life, communicate, and endanger their lives in extreme cases. Long-lasting injuries and STI’s can be impossible to get rid of even in later life, which is especially dangerous. The greater community needs to recognize the vulnerability of children and work on raising awareness of the issue and recognizing the possible signs of danger. By educating oneself self on the topic, people can be able to spot signs of sex trafficking, interventing, and protect vulnerable individuals from further harm. Similar practices should be adopted by every person in society, which can help to prevent and stop as many cases of child trafficking as possible.

References

Bocinski, S. G. (n.d.). The Economic Drivers and Consequences of Sex Trafficking in the United States. IWPR 2020. Web.

Human Trafficking: The Problem | Youth.gov. (n.d.). Youth.Gov. Web.

Kaylor, L (2015). Psychological Impact of Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery Worldwide: Empowerment and Intervention. APA. Web.

N. (n.d.). Child trafficking. NSPCC. Web.

Preventing Child Sex Trafficking. (2019). Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Web.

What is Human Trafficking? (n.d.). United Nations : Office on Drugs and Crime. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 28). At-Risk Youth and Sex Trafficking Issue. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/at-risk-youth-and-sex-trafficking-issue/

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'At-Risk Youth and Sex Trafficking Issue'. 28 March.

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