• Elijah Ugoh

Supporting The Fight Against Sexual Exploitation & Sex Trafficking of Minors: Here's What You Can Do


According to reports from the Human Trafficking Hotline, human trafficking has been recorded in all 50 states in the U.S., and more than 1 million runaway and homeless youth live on America's streets every day. Despite repeated calls over the years to address the situation, child trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labor continue to thrive within our communities.


These days, sex trafficking of minors has evolved into a booming online business as seen in the harrowing merchandise of children for sex on Backpage.com. According to Save the Children International, migrants and refugees account for the majority of victims of child sex trafficking.

Concerted Effort Towards Confronting the Issue

We feel that the good efforts and campaigns of well-meaning citizens and the many humanitarian organizations out there are met daily with an alarmingly low level of empathy and concern, so we still have a lot of work to do. The report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOC) and National Research Council (NRC) shows that commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States are commonly overlooked, misunderstood, and under-addressed.


In addition to the works and efforts of organizations like the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and Save the Children International, here are further suggestions on how we can collectively prevent and hopefully end sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in our society:

Educate Your Kids on Sextortion

Children are most vulnerable without the help of someone who knows better. Because of the smart psychological tactics and sophisticated technology that online predators now use to coerce children into creating sexually abusive content, parents and guardians need to approach the subject with an in-depth understanding and awareness of current trends. Traffickers have a way of grooming vulnerable kids into developing trust in them. What follows next is sextortion, which is a systematic way of threatening to reveal obscene content of the children to get them to create more sexually abusive content.


Parents and caregivers need to understand this when having related discussions with kids in their care. Since it's a conversation that we must have, it's important to maintain a non-judgmental disposition as this will encourage the kids to share their experiences, which in turn will help parents and guardians offer help appropriately.

Stay Informed and Share What You Learn

Child sex trafficking is an issue that affects all of us. Sharing what you've learned with friends, your kids, colleagues, and in open forums is another effective way to increase awareness in society. Some children who were coerced into a life of prostitution may never learn that there's a way out if they`re not shown the way. A lot of them are trapped and in desperate need of help. But surprisingly, many of them have access to social media, so you never know who the information you share might help.

Report Child Sex Trafficking Activities Near You

Whenever you find any child sexual abuse material (CSAM) or suspect minor sex trafficking activities anywhere around you or online, remember that you can always report such platforms or activities. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) has a channel that allows you to report any activity that may involve child sex trafficking. You can reach the NHTRC at 1-888-3737-888, or file a confidential online report here.


Also, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Kids (NCMEC) is a place where you can report cases of missing children and child victimization. You can report any suspected child trafficking or minor sexual exploitation at 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678). You can also share this information with your social network to increase awareness.

Donate to Organizations Actively Fighting Sexual Exploitation & Sex Trafficking of Minors

With the wide spectrum of ongoing work and works that's yet to be done to suppress the proliferation of child sex trafficking activities today, you'll find lots of organizations that can put your dollars to great use. The truth is, fighting sex trafficking today is way more complicated than ever. Online predators and child sex traffickers use sophisticated technology to promote their enterprise and lure more victims “into the life”.

Support Legislations and Policies that Directly Address Sexual Exploitation of Minors

We need to strengthen the law's response to both the perpetrators and victims. As a way of helping integrate survivors back into society, you can support or call for laws that treat survivors of child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking as victims and not criminals. Recognizing that there is no such thing as child prostitution, New York and Florida were among the first to allow survivors to clear their records from the system. This allows them to start a new life on a clean slate without living with the stigma arising from their past.

Our Mandate at the Mission Haven

At The Mission Haven, we are committed to providing a comprehensive and transformational Haven of Healing to victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. We believe that these children still have a chance at life at its best, and we need every support we can get to continually provide the pillar of support that they need.


Once a survivor breaks free, they desperately need healing from the devastating effect of slavery. But beyond healing, they need hope, they need to see new possibilities. Our goal at The Mission Haven is to provide them with those. 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, feel free to contact us today.

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