Trafficking in New York State

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TRAFFICKING IN NEW YORK

  • Between 2000 and 2010, 11,268 trafficking victims were provided with social and legal services in New York City (of these, 6,580 were minors).
  • New York is the 4th worst state in terms of the human trafficking problem.  Only California, Texas and Florida outrank New York State.
  • Last year in New York State nearly three times as many people were arrested for prostitution, many of whom were sex trafficking victims, than were arrested as johns.
  • Over 2,200 children are victims of human trafficking annually in New York City, with another 400 found trafficked Upstate.
  • In 2011, 3,893 people in prostitution were arrested in New York State.
  • The director of Midtown Community Court identified 70% of the people arrested for prostitution in their court as trafficking victims.

TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN

  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that over 100,000 U.S. children and youth are victims of sex trafficking.
  • In the U.S., the average age of entry into prostitution is 13 years of age.
  • A 2007 Office of Child and Family Services study found 2,253 children are trafficked annually in New York City, and an additional 399 children are trafficked in upstate counties.  However, this report noted it was likely undercounting due to the fact that many children are exploited behind closed doors.
  • New York’s Safe Harbor Act defines a “sexually exploited child” as someone under 18 who is subject to sexual exploitation because s/he engages in sexual conduct in exchange for something of value. Under federal law, anyone engaged in prostitution under the age of 18 is considered a victim of sex trafficking.

PROSTITUTION IS NOT A VICTIMLESS CRIME

  • 68% of people in prostitution experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • The tactics used by traffickers are categorized as psychological torture by Amnesty International and include isolation of the victim, threats, induced debility via forced drug use or deprivation of food/sleep, and degradation, including humiliation, insults, and denial of personal hygiene.
  • Trafficked children are significantly more likely to abuse substances, engage in prostitution as adults, develop serious mental health problems, and either commit or be victimized by violent crime later in life.

Learn more about the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act.

Information courtesy of the NYS Anti-Trafficking Coalition and the NYS Public Affairs Committee of the Junior League