Domestic child sex trafficking is a persistent problem in the United States. Under federal law, child sex trafficking occurs any time a minor under the age of eighteen is induced to perform a commercial sex act. Historically, domestic victims have received gravely insufficient protection and support due to a lack of awareness about domestic trafficking and the hidden nature of this crime.
Although the federal law has long been clear that child sex trafficking should be viewed as a severe form of trafficking in persons, victims of child sex trafficking are still denied the full scope of protections afforded to other victims of violence, and specifically child abuse, including protections that prevent re-traumatizing children who cooperate as victim witnesses in criminal prosecutions.
Survivor Protection: Reducing the Risk of Trauma to Child Sex Trafficking Victims provides an overview of the legal justifications in the United States for extending existing protections for child abuse victim witnesses to domestic child sex trafficking victim witnesses. The report also highlights various states that have passed legislation to this effect. The report includes a review of the use of Closed Circuit Television as a protection mechanism, and also identifies other methods that can be utilized to protect child victim witnesses in human trafficking cases.
This report was produced by Rights4Girls, with support from international law firms Crowell & Moring, Holland & Knight, and White & Case, facilitated by TrustLaw.