developing effective responses to the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. Furthermore, the committee encountered the same significant challenge in reviewing international and foreign responses that it faced in reviewing the U.S. response—a lack of evidence-based research on and evaluation of existing laws and programs. The committee highlights in this appendix selected lessons from the international arena that it deems potentially promising and worthy of further consideration in the United States.
One notable difference between international responses and the U.S. approach is the emphasis on a children’s rights framework. The committee’s review of international responses revealed that a children’s rights framework—which recognizes each child’s right to be protected from exploitation and to be assisted if harmed—has the potential to advance efforts to protect vulnerable children from being exploited and to ensure that minors who are victims or survivors receive needed services and assistance.
The committee also identified particular provisions of international law that it believes have the potential to further strengthen efforts to prevent, identify, and respond to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children and adolescents in the United States. The committee highlights below selected provisions from two multilateral treaties. The committee does not suggest these are the only, or necessarily the most important, examples. Rather, this appendix aims to identify selected innovative examples from the international arena that the committee believes are particularly relevant to the scope of this study.
As the primary focus of this study was on the United States, the committee limits its discussion of international law here to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (2005) (CATHB) and the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (2007) (CPCASE). The committee focused on these two conventions in part because they are relatively recent and reflect the growing understanding of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children and adolescents.
The committee believes the legal provisions cited below provide examples of noteworthy responses to the abuse of children and adolescents through commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. The committee reiterates its belief that the pressing needs of minors who are at risk of or suffer such exploitation demand that policy makers and advocates in the United States not limit themselves to ideas that arise in this country. All noteworthy practices should be considered, including ones listed in this appendix, as the United States develops its capacity to prevent, identify, and respond to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors within its jurisdiction.