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Vol. 6 No. i (2018): Spring 2018

A Broken System: The Misclassification of Human Trafficking Victims as Criminals in the U.S.

November 27, 2023


Human trafficking is a pressing issue that takes the lives of many people. In fact, a staggering estimate of 20.9 million victims of human trafficking exist globally (Trafficking Resource Center). Of these millions of victims, 80% are sexually exploited, and half are children. At a more local level, an estimated 15,000 people are trafficked into the United States and coerced into labor or sexually exploited each year (Goldberg). In many instances, sexually exploited human trafficking victims are wrongfully charged as prostitutes (HG Legal Resources). The conflict between state and federal law, unfair scare tactics, and an uninformed law enforcement all contribute toward the failure to identify and rehabilitate human trafficking victims.