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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ugoh

7 Major Causes of Child Sex Trafficking

7 Major Causes of Child Sex Trafficking
7 Major Causes of Child Sex Trafficking

While there are several organizations raising awareness across the country and helping to push back the perpetration of human trafficking, we, unfortunately, are still grappling with human trafficking in our communities. One common misconception many people have is that their community is safe from such, probably because they live in a nice city with low crime rates.

But the thing about human trafficking is that it is hidden in plain sight, such that you may not even recognize it if it is happening right in front of you. Currently, human trafficking cases have been reported in all 50 states, and as of 2020, 10,583 situations of human trafficking were reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, with 16,658 victims affected.

This post is not to scare anyone but to create more awareness about the prevalence of sex trafficking, which is one of the most impactful methods of fighting human trafficking in general. Sex trafficking is the most common form of human trafficking, which involves the exploitation of women and girls for commercial sex. Here, we highlight 7 leading causes of sex trafficking in the U.S.


Poverty has always been one of the prime causes of trafficking all over the world. No wonder Mississippi is the state with the largest cases of human trafficking. Poverty encourages people to migrate illegally into the country, to search for greener pastures. Whereas the people who promise them a better life usually turn them into sex workers and use them for forced labor, making their lives even more miserable than before. We've also seen cases where parents send their children off to work for strangers, with the hope of earning a better living. But in the end, they become targets for traffickers.

Legalization of Commercial Sex

In a state like Nevada, where commercial sex work is legalized in some counties, there is a thriving business hub for traffickers recruiting young women and girls. Vegas city is known for its high number of brothels, gambling, narcotics, and increased sexual activities. In an environment like this, sex trafficking of minors thrives at an alarming rate, and mostly goes unnoticed. Until this is checked, human trafficking, especially the sex trafficking of young teenage girls, may not stop.

Lack of Education

A lack of education often leads to unpleasant outcomes in the lives of the people affected. They have decreased opportunities, to begin with. They also often lack knowledge of their rights as citizens. These conditions make them vulnerable to traffickers. Some schools have started to teach students about sex trafficking and forced labor, helping them identify and report human trafficking situations.

Demand for Cheap Labor

Services like restaurants and kitchens demand cheap labor and often rely on traffickers to supply cheap labor. In addition to this, some farmers and plantation owners still demand cheap domestic and agricultural labor, which further supports the business that sustains trafficking. In most cases, the victims do not have family members and have very little or no alternatives, making it difficult to seek help from the authorities.

It is Difficult to Identify Trafficking Situations

Traffickers now use online channels to source for victims. In the case of child sex trafficking, research has shown that trafficking can start from a very simple or casual friendship online and grow into a major case of full-blown sexual exploitation of the minor involved. Parents need to be vigilant over their children, especially teenagers because traffickers now conduct their business in a very tactical manner, making it challenging to trace and identify them.

Human Trafficking Generates Huge Income

The human trafficking industry is currently estimated to be worth billions of dollars. According to the ILO, the human trafficking industry generates a profit of $150 billion per year. After drugs, human trafficking is said to be the fastest-growing and second-largest criminal industry in the world. It affects mostly women and girls, with most of them being exploited for commercial sex and the rest exploited for domestic labor.


Traffickers themselves are one of the prime causes of human trafficking. Until they wilfully decide to stop exploiting other human beings for profits, human trafficking is likely not going to stop. This is besides many other factors, such as cultural practices, huge profits, lack of human rights, economic instability that actually cause human trafficking.

Those who demand poor labor and child sex are just like the traffickers themselves because they create the market for it. Ultimately, sex trafficking and forced labor exist today because people are willing to exploit other human beings for profit and others are willing to pay to use the people so exploited

How We're Helping at the Mission Haven

Besides creating awareness to make more people understand the causes of human trafficking, we focus on helping survivors of minor sex trafficking get back on their feet and live the best life. The Mission Haven is a nonprofit, charity-funded organization focused on providing a comprehensive and transformational Haven of Healing for victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.

Our goal at The Mission Haven is to provide them with all the support they need to start over. With your generous donations and support, we can continue to provide a truly safe haven of hope and healing equipped with essential resources to lift victims and survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking. To give, volunteer, or become a partner, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today.


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