This report aims to provide a comprehensive review of current knowledge about and approaches for addressing commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States. The report demonstrates that, with the exception of several noteworthy efforts, the United States is in the very early stages of recognizing, understanding, and developing solutions for these problems.
Fortunately, the release of the report occurs at an opportune time, amid growing attention to and calls for action to respond to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States at all levels—from the grassroots to the Executive Office of the White House. The committee’s intent is for this report to provide a clear path forward by offering recommendations designed to increase awareness, to advance understanding, and to support efforts to prevent and respond to the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of the nation’s children. Failure to act to prevent, identify, and respond to these problems would all but ensure that children and adolescents in the United States will continue to be overlooked and suffer needlessly and that exploiters will continue to perpetrate abuses without suitable consequences. The human cost of the status quo is simply unacceptable.