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Social Work Policy for Sex Trafficking Essay

Pages:8 (2423 words)



Topic:Human Trafficking

Document Type:Essay


Social Policy Analysis Report

Definition of Social Problem

In recent decades, sex trafficking has become a substantial social problem affecting the whole world and continues to necessitate worldwide collaboration to combat it (Brooks and Heaslip, 2019) entirely. Human trafficking is a violation of the fundamental human rights of men, women, and children all over the world. Based on research conducted by the United Nations, statistics indicated that persons across 106 different nations across the globe had experienced trafficking either for labor or sex, or both. Twenty-eight percent of this statistic comprised of children, with the number of girls surpassing that of boys by 40 percent (Greenbaum, 2017). The United Nations defines sexual traffic to encompass the act of recruiting, transferring, harboring, or receiving of individuals, by way of either threat or through use of force as well as other kinds of intimidation, fraud, trickery, abuse of power or authority, capitalizing on the position of susceptibility, or giving or receiving of payments, or benefits to attain the consent of an individual having control over another individual, for the main objective of exploitation (United Nations, 2020).

Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2013, as a social policy, institutes, and reinforces programs to facilitate the prevention of child marriage. Also, it positions provisions of immediate emergency response within the Department of State to offer a fast-pace response in regions experience disasters and crises where individuals are especially vulnerable to being trafficked. Furthermore, this policy reinforces the teamwork carried out with both local and state law enforcement entities to facilitate the charging and prosecution of traffickers.

Analysis of Social Problem

Facts, Statistics, and Demographic Information

In recent years, global sex trafficking has become prevalent. Statistics provided by the International Labor Organization approximated that in 2016, more than 3.8 million adults and 1 million children were victims of forced sexual exploitation across the globe (International Labour Organization, 2017). Demographically, the huge majority of victims of sex trafficking are girls and women. Nonetheless, there is a usual misunderstanding that victims of sex trafficking are solely women. Therefore, it is imperative to note that boys, men, transsexual, non-binary, and intersex persons are also sex trafficking victims. With that being said, however, the ILO provided statistics indicating that amongst the children and adults victimized into sexual exploitation, 99 percent of them are female. Globally, over 70 percent of the victims of sex trafficking were from Asia, and the Pacific expanse, Central Asia and Europe accounted for 14 percent, Africa comprised of 8 percent with the Americas and the Arab Nations making up the remaining 4 percent and 1 percent respectively (International Labour Organization, 2017).

Specifically, in the United States, the State Department has not yet provided a formal approximation of sex trafficking victims. However, based on their report presented in 2019, it was established that the major origins that are susceptible to human sex trafficking include the United States, the Philippines, and Mexico. Statistics further indicate that in 2018, more than 50 percent of the criminal human trafficking cases in the United States encompassed sexual exploitation, and these were cases involving children. One of the key contributing factors to this is that a significant number of individuals experiencing child sex trafficking are those placed in foster care. In recent times, there is also an increasing concern owing to the mounting trend of sex traffickers utilizing online social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, they use websites to enable their recruitment and conduct campaigns and advertisements for targets of sex trafficking (Kelly, 2019).

Mechanisms of Oppression and Discrimination

Whereas prevailing stereotypes usually portray the victims of human trafficking to be girls who are young and innocent and kidnapped from their home nations and enforced into the sex industry, this is not usually the case. Children, women, and men, regardless of their ages, can be preyed into becoming victims of human trafficking for the aim of labor or sex. For the most part, victims can either be trafficked from other nations into the United States or might be foreign citizens already living in the nation, lawfully or unlawfully. These individuals are distressed about being able to provide for their livelihoods and their families both at home and where they are (Bruckert and Parent, 2002; Clawson et al., 2009).

Human sex trafficking can happen to any individual. However, it is significant to note that some persons are more susceptible compared to others. Some of the major risk factors influencing this aspect comprise new relocation or immigration to an area, substance use, problems with mental health, lacking proper guardians, and being shifted in foster care and also being homeless. For the most part, sex traffickers pinpoint these vulnerabilities and take advantage of them to generate dependency. As can be…

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…time, helping victims are advancements that are much necessitated (Weitzer, 2011).

Overall Conclusions

Sex trafficking of individuals across the globe is a gross violation of human rights and a demonstration of social injustice. It extremely affects children and women across the globe (Okech et al., 2018). The NASW Code of Ethics champions for the promotion of social justice. This is the perspective that every individual is deserving of equality in terms of political, social, and economic rights, liberties, and opportunities (Reamer, 2006). This is one of the major strong suits of the social policy as it facilitates the provision of precious resources supporting all-inclusive services for survivors. It also empowers law enforcement to investigate cases of sex trafficking, holding perpetrators culpable for their actions, and also precluding human sex trafficking and modern slavery from occurring in the first place.

Approximately 17,000 individuals are trafficked into the United States yearly. Even worse, the numbers for sex trafficking and sex violation both locally and internationally are greater. More than a decade after the sanctioning of the Trafficking Victims and Protection Act (TVPA) to combat and eradicate human trafficking, the United States continues to struggle to balance punishing traffickers and shielding victims (Roby, Turley, and Cloward, 2008). The trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2013 adequately, efficiently, and equitably deals with the issue of sex trafficking. Nonetheless, owing to the continued prevalence of sex trafficking across the globe, there are several recommendations to improve this fight. First, it is essential to facilitate increased awareness of human trafficking. For instance, individuals should be aware that all individuals, regardless of whether they are United States citizens, are eligible for immigration help and assistance in case of experiencing trafficking. Moreover, there is a recommendation that schools need to establish and advance curricula that include education on human trafficking and also developing protocols on how to pinpoint and report any suspicious activity.

Since the passage of the act, the United States has made substantial strides in its national endeavor to curb sex trafficking, by sanctioning legislation and forming schemes whereby victims can obtain protection and also temporary legal status. However, despite these determinations, the policy continues to be excessively fixated on utilizing victims as tools for law enforcement instead of helping them based on their victim status, with the outcome that comparatively minimal victims are revealing themselves. This happens because the victims might consider…

Sample Source(s) Used


Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking. (2017). Summary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and Reauthorizations FY 2017. Retrieved from:

Benoit, C., Smith, M., Jansson, M., Healey, P., & Magnuson, D. (2019). “The prostitution problem”: Claims, evidence, and policy outcomes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48(7), 1905-1923.

Brooks, A., & Heaslip, V. (2019). Sex trafficking and sex tourism in a globalized world. Tourism Review of AIEST - International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism, 74(5), 1104-1115. doi:

Bruckert, C., & Parent, C. (2002). Trafficking in human beings and organized crime: A literature review (pp. 1-35).

Clawson, H. J., Dutch, N., Solomon, A., & Grace, L. G. (2009). Human trafficking into and within the United States: A review of the literature. Washington, DC: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, US Department of Human and Health Services. Retrieved December 25, 2009.

Greenbaum, V. J. (2017). Child sex trafficking in the United States: Challenges for the healthcare provider. PLoS medicine, 14(11).

International Labour Organization. (2017). Global Estimates of Modern Slavery. Retrieved from:

Kelly, C. (July 30, 2019). 13 sex trafficking statistics that explain the enormity of the global sex trade. USA Today. Retrieved from:

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