Prostitution of Juveniles (Sex Trafficking)
Prostitution of juveniles, or sex trafficking, is not a new phenomenon but is an increasingly central component of the criminal justice system's fight against child sexual exploitation.
A number of impediments have hampered research into the prostitution of juveniles. Crime reporting data often do not include the ages of juveniles who are prostituted. This prostitution is potentially concentrated in certain parts of the country. Certain types of prostitution, such as adults offering young children in exchange for money, are treated as child sexual abuse cases rather than prostitution. The Internet's importance in facilitating the prostitution of juveniles is still emerging.
A second issue complicating this subject is the dual status of victim and offender that juveniles who are prostituted often have in the criminal justice system. Inconsistencies in emphasis among law enforcement agencies lead to a lack of reliable data.
CCRC is conducting research to assess the nature and extent of prostitution of juveniles (sex trafficking) in the US and provide policy recommendations for governmental and law enforcement agencies. For more information, see the National Juvenile Prostitution Study (N-JPS).
Source: Stransky, M., & Finkelhor, D. (2008 – revised 2012). Sex trafficking of minors: How many juveniles are being prostituted in the US? Durham, NH: Crimes against Children Research Center. (CV279FS)
Results from N-JPS:
Mitchell, K.J., Finkelhor, D. & Wolak, J. (2013). Sex trafficking cases involving minors. Crimes against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire: Durham, NH. (CV 313)