The Rise of Technology in Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation
Technology, in particular the internet, has enabled sex trafficking and sexual exploitation to become the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. The increasing misuse of technology is changing the nature of trafficking, and we must work together to develop new ways to address it.
The internet has completely changed the face of trafficking with an increase in access for buyers and sellers and a rapid increase in activity without regulation:
- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) says 78% of victims of online child sexual exploitation are girls.
- In the United States, 2 out of every 3 children sold for sex are trafficked online.
- In the United Kingdom, more than 8,500 sexual services ads are posted online every month. Traffickers are able to easily post ads for trafficked women and children.
- The Philippines Department of Justice receives over 3,000 reports each month of children being sexually exploited and sold online.
Technology and the internet provide the tools that traffickers can use. Online resources such as open and classified advertisement sites, adult websites, social media platforms, chatrooms, extending into the dark-web enable traffickers to interact with an increasing number of potential victims.
How do we address this growing problem?
Solutions must be global, multi-dimensional, and supported by actors including governments, tech companies, civil society, and UN agencies. They must be informed by the experiences and perspectives of survivors.
Equality Now is exploring the role of technology in sexual exploitation in order to advocate for the best approach and most effective solutions for adult women and adolescent girls.
What can you do?
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