Sexual trafficking in the United States: a domestic problem with transnational dimensions

Soc Work. 2008 Apr;53(2):143-52. doi: 10.1093/sw/53.2.143.


The trafficking of young women and children for prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation is one of the most significant human rights abuses in contemporary society. In keeping with the social work profession's commitment to social justice, this article examines the issue of sexual trafficking in the United States. The transnational scope of the problem is discussed along with the means that traffickers use to recruit, transport, and initiate victims from around the world into the sex industry in the United States. Some legislative responses to the problem are discussed, and a number of suggestions are offered to help social workers advocate on behalf of some of the most vulnerable and oppressed people in the global community.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Crime Victims
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Male
  • Sex Work / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Justice
  • United States / epidemiology