The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: A Growing Problem

The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a large and growing problem. Unfortunately I can’t prove that statement. But that’s my sense based on watching and investigating this problem at the street level for over 30 years.
When I was the Chief Investigator of a state agency in Illinois, we conducted a five year investigation into the sexual exploitation of children. Our investigation demonstrated that the problem was large and spanned the nation. Most children, both boys and girls, who were being exploited were runaways. At the time there had been no reliable studies conducted that could give us insight into exactly how large the problem was. But since we found it everywhere we looked we knew it was big.
One of our recommendations back then was for research agencies, in addition to the police, to focus on the problem of child prostitution, both male and female.

More than thirty years later, no research agency has seriously taken up the challenge. A recent study (available here: criticizes the lack of effective research.

Estimates of the scope of the problem range from 1,400 children to 2.4 million. Quite a gap. This is just more proof that its not only politicians of every party at both the state and national levels who simply give lip service to the issue. Academics are just as guilty. The lower figure, 1400, is laughable. The estimate of 2.4 million is plausible. Not having more clarity on the scope of this more than 35 years after first being identified as a major problem is a travesty.

One thing that is beginning to get better is the punishment for the pimps when they get caught. Mackenley Desir was just sentenced to life in prison. Now THAT sentence is appropriate. More judges need to take notice of this and start handing down similar sentences to these predators.

South Florida sex-trafficker gets life, won’t ‘hurt any more women’ – Sun Sentinel.

3 thoughts on “The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: A Growing Problem

  1. Labor Brokers who have found a niche in “globalization” opportunities resulting from outsourcing and the insourcing of the “human resource” , has also cost the middle class their loss of decent wages and employment . The resulting growth in the sex trade industry has in large part been a creation of policies that wear the mask of Free Market Capitalism.
    Without fair and balanced global regulations, corporations can nation shop for cheaper taxes and cheap labor thereby increasing their profits. Many criminals find fertile ground in the unemployed or underemployed who discover lower level management in these new venues replace their income loss.

    The problem with the Casino industry has not gone unnoticed as a place where ‘buyers’ can check in and do more than just eat and gamble or where sex slaves can be kept in basements and trucked out to other states.

    “Labor trafficking occurs in diverse contexts that encompass all forms of labor or services. Common places where forced labor has been found in the United States include domestic servitude and small-scale “mom and pop” labor operations, to more large-scale operations such as farms and factories. Certain labor brokers that supply labor to multinational corporations have also been identified as an emerging type of labor traffickers. Sex trafficking includes commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), as well as every instance where an adult is in the sex trade as the result of force, fraud, or coercion. Sex trafficking occurs within numerous venues in the broader sex industry, commonly found in street prostitution, online escort services, residential brothels, and brothels disguised as massage businesses. Under U.S. and international law, commercially sexually exploited children found in the sex trade are considered to be victims of trafficking, even if no force or coercion is present.”

    “I don’t have figures to tell you how rampant it is but it seems like we’re coming across this more frequently than we used to,” said Wilson.
    Investigators said if they come across underage prostitutes in the future, they’ll treat them as human trafficking victims and try to get to the people who forced them into the sex trade.
    “It’s an abhorrent situation when you have people who are forced into the sex slave work,” Wilson said.”

    The current news stories on the topic are too numerous to copy.It does seem to correlate with the global economic crisis, internet use for pornographic purposes and the rise in casino operations.

  3. Interesting comments on these sites regarding the camp bag in the photo.Apparently some ex members of RC recognized the logo on the bag in the picture.How very sad for this mother and child, now a grown man.×2936198

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