Introduction to the issue of sexual exploitation

The Issue

Sex trafficking occurs when someone uses force, fraud, or coercion to cause a commercial sex act. It thrives because there is a serious demand from buyers who fuel the market with their money and traffickers / pimps who exploit victims. Traffickers find victims through social networks, clubs, or bars, online, and schools and lure victims through promises of protection, love, adventure, and opportunity. Traffickers use violence, fear, intimidation, and threats to ensure compliance and meet demand. The common age a child enters sex trafficking is 14-16 years old. Most of the sex buyers are normal men that we meet every day in our life.They are members of law enforcement, lawyers, construction workers, truckers, businessmen, social workers, pastors, city employees, and regular citizens.



Revenues of sex trafficking have been estimated at more than $ 200 billion worldwide by Havocscope and would be more than $ 14.6 billion in the United States.

There are more than 20-30 million victims of sex trafficking globally.

The International Labor Organization estimates that traffickers’ profit around $ 80,000 per victims in developed countries.

The United States has been rated one of the top three nations of origin for human trafficking victims by the State Department.

99% of the adults and children forced into sexual exploitation are female.

In 2018, 1 in 7 reported runaway children in the US are likely victims of child sex trafficking. Foster care children are especially vulnerable.

15 to 20% of men have purchased sex at least once in western countries, and 5% buy sex at least once a month. 80% of men never buy sex.

Less than 80,000 trafficked women exit prostitution every year, representing less than 1% of the total number of girls entrapped.

Businesses and Sex Trafficking

As with any enterprise, sex trafficking ventures depend on and intersect with legitimate industries and systems. Traffickers use banks for their earnings and buses to move their victims around; hotel rooms are integral to some sex traffickers, while social media is a recruitment trawling ground for others. The fight against human trafficking requires not just passive support but actual, active commitment and effort on the part of businesses that unwittingly, but regularly intersect with traffickers, victims, and survivors.

Reasons to Fight

For the world to really make a difference in addressing this problem, as stated in Targets 5.2, 8.7, and 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the private sector must become a player in this fight. Why should the business world care about this? 

To take a strong stand for the non-use of slavery, whatever its form, inside and outside the company.

To promote women’s rights to their full extent.

To fulfill consumer expectations that a company respects social and human rights criteria. 

To comply with national and international law.

To build strong relationships with consumers, investors, governmental authorities, and local communities.

To avoid risks of occurrence of sex trafficking in your business and prevent negative impact to company image.

When a hotel trains 100 000 employees, a bank develops a video viewed by 40 000 employees, or a high-tech company facilitates the development or the implementation of a software which can be used worldwide, to prevent or identify sex trade, there is a significant impact. What will be your choice?