Published on March 16, 2008
Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Human Trafficking Defined By Federal Law: Human Trafficking Defined By Federal Law “Severe Forms” of human trafficking is: (a) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or (b) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.1 1 These definitions are from the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Defined By Federal Law: Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Defined By Federal Law Domestic minor sex trafficking occurs when a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident who has not attained 18 years of age is engaged in a commercial sex act.2 “Commercial sex act” means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person. This includes: Prostitution Exotic dancing/stripping Pornography 2 This definition is from the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005 Human Trafficking Defined: Human Trafficking Defined Simply put, there are three categories of human trafficking victims: Those under 18 involved in commercial sex acts Those 18 or over involved in commercial sex acts through force, fraud or coercion Those forced to perform labor and/or services in conditions of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery through force, fraud or coercion This educational presentation will focus exclusively on group #1 - victims of trafficking who are under 18 and involved in commercial sex acts; it will focus solely on victims who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Purpose of Educational Presentation: Purpose of Educational Presentation Redefine child prostitutes as trafficking victims Improve and increase identification of victims and perpetrators Improve and increase access to services for victims Increase prosecutions of traffickers & buyers Stress the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the above Contents: Contents 1. Scope of the Problem 2. Victims 3. Traffickers/Pimps 4. Buyers/”Johns” 5. Collaborative Best Practices for Task Forces Scope of the Problem: Scope of the Problem Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the U.S. According to Ernie Allen, Executive Director of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), data shows 100,000 to 293,000 children have become sexual commodities. Nationally 450,000 children run away from home each year. 1 out of every 3 teens on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. Statistically, this means at least 150,000 children lured into prostitution each year.3 12 is the average age of entry into pornography and prostitution in the U.S.4 3 NISMART (National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Throwaway Children) 4 From U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html Slide9: Nevada has become a hotspot for domestic minor sex trafficking.5 181 cases of juvenile prostitution were brought before Hon. William O. Voy between 8/24/05-12/31/06. 69 cases were trafficked within Nevada; 112 were trafficked from out-of-state. Ages ranged from 12 to 17 years old. 181 cases before ONE judge in ONE court in ONE state. Case Study: Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in Nevada 5 2004 USDOJ Annual Report Victims: Victims Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims : Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims Any minor engaged in commercial sex acts is a victim of sex trafficking. As victims of a violent crime, the Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA 2000) allows trafficking victims to be protected rather than punished, even if they participated in illegal activities, such as prostitution. “I never met a juvenile in prostitution who didn’t have a pimp.” – Sharon Marcus-Kurn, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Who are the victims of domestic minor sex trafficking?: Who are the victims of domestic minor sex trafficking? Youth of any ethnicity, race, or religion Youth of any socio-economic class Female, male, and transgender youth Youth of all ages, including teenagers Vulnerable youth Who are especially vulnerable to domestic minor sex trafficking?: Youth with histories of abuse 59% of minors arrested for prostitution in Las Vegas from 1994 to 2005 had been victims of sexual assault and/or familial molestation.6 74% had run away from home prior to arrest.7 WestCare Nevada treated 46 minors involved in prostitution from 2004-2005; 45 of them had a history of physical and/or sexual abuse. Who are especially vulnerable to domestic minor sex trafficking? 6,7 From Las Vegas Metro Police STOP Program, Las Vegas. 2005. Who are especially vulnerable to domestic minor sex trafficking?: Who are especially vulnerable to domestic minor sex trafficking? Homeless, runaway or “throwaway” youth - As many as 2.8 million children live on the streets, a third of whom are lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.8 Youth within the foster care system & child protective services - Over 500,000 children in the U.S. currently reside in some form of foster care.9 8 From The National Runaway Switchboard 9 From The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Case Study: Rhonda, Sex Trafficking Victim: Case Study: Rhonda, Sex Trafficking Victim “I have a history of sexual abuse, a long history of it… The first time that it happened it was from my mother’s boyfriend. I remember his name was Phillip. He was going into the room with me and my sister ‘to read bedtime stories’. And my mother was unaware of what was going on. And it happened for a long time, a long time. The second time was while we were going to court for the first one. My mother had a friend who was a sheriff…and while we were going through the court process for the molestation charges for Phillip, Ken took me and my sister to his cabin in Lake Tahoe and he sexually abused me there.” Case Studies: Toledo and Kansas City: Case Studies: Toledo and Kansas City Toledo: A pimp tricked two cousins, 14 and 15, into his car, kidnapped them, and forced them into prostitution. He gave them clothes and fake IDs, and monitored them as they performed sex acts in Toledo hotels. He prevented their escape by beating one girl when the other would misbehave. The girls were rescued in a sting operation and the pimp and his accomplices arrested. 10 Kansas City: Two 13-year-old girls and their 15-year-old sister ran away from home in Kansas City, MO. They were recruited by a pimp who sold them in exchange for food, clothing and shelter. The pimp kept 100% of the money the girls earned from performing sex acts and never provided them with condoms. He was arrested during an undercover police operation and brought to justice by the Kansas City human trafficking task force. 11 10 From The Toledo Blade. 2006-01-09. 11 From The Kansas City Star. 2006-06-24. Page: B1 Why is it hard to identify domestic minor sex trafficking victims?: Why is it hard to identify domestic minor sex trafficking victims? Physically and/or psychologically controlled by pimps Trained by pimps to tell lies and false stories Victims’ distrust of service providers & law enforcement Frequently moved from place to place Technology can help disguise the real age of the victim Easy to obtain fake I.D.s Why don’t they seek help?: Why don’t they seek help? Captivity, confinement and isolation - Victims have been locked in rooms and trunks of cars and isolated from friends and family Use and threat of violence - Victims have been beaten, raped, tortured, assaulted and threatened with weapons Fear, shame, self-blame and hopelessness - Victims have been so traumatized, they blame themselves for their abuse and/or see no way out of the situation Dependency - Victims have become physically, financially or emotionally dependent on the trafficker; they have bonded with the abuser through traumatic bonding (a.k.a. Stockholm Syndrome) Why don’t they seek help? (cont.)12: Why don’t they seek help? (cont.)12 Distrust of law enforcement. - Victims are told that law enforcement will arrest or harm them Debt bondage - Victims are trapped in never ending cycles of fabricated debt and are made to believe they cannot leave until this debt is paid off. Misinformation/false promises - Victims are promised love, money, safety or other desires if they stay with the pimp. Lack of knowledge of social systems - Victims don’t know how and where to seek help. 12 From “Understanding Victim’s Mindset”. Polaris Project 2006. “Red Flags”: Possible Trafficking Indicators: “Red Flags”: Possible Trafficking Indicators Excess amount of cash Hotel room keys Chronic runaway/homeless youth Signs of branding (tattoo, jewelry) Lying about age/false identification Inconsistencies in story Lack of knowledge of a given community or whereabouts “Red Flags”: Possible Trafficking Indicators (cont.): “Red Flags”: Possible Trafficking Indicators (cont.) Presence of an overly controlling and abusive “boyfriend” Inability or fear to make eye contact Injuries/signs of physical abuse or torture Restricted/scripted communication Demeanor – fear, anxiety, depression, submissive, tense, nervous Claims of being an adult although appearance suggests adolescent features Interactive Example: Identification in Action: Interactive Example: Identification in Action For Law Enforcement: During an undercover operation, a young girl solicits you. She states that she is 18, but she looks 15 and does not have ID. You ask about a pimp and she claims to be prostituting on her own. She has $300 cash and a cell phone with her. When you bring her in and ask if she has any family who can come get her, she responds that her boyfriend will pick her up. - How do you respond? - What actions can you take to protect this child? - What further questions can you ask to determine if she is a domestic minor sex trafficking victim? - Who else can you contact to help in this process? Interactive Example: Identification in Action: Interactive Example: Identification in Action For Service Providers: A 15-year-old girl is brought to you by the police. She was picked up on a curfew violation at 2:00am in an area known for prostitution. She has $200 and a hotel key in her purse. She claims she lives with her uncle in a house nearby and that her parents are deceased. - How do you respond? - What actions can you take to protect this child? - What further questions can you ask to determine if she is a domestic minor sex trafficking victim? - Who else can you contact to help in this process? Traffickers/Pimps: Traffickers/Pimps Who Are the Traffickers?: Who Are the Traffickers? Can be a pimp, a boyfriend, father, mother, brother, uncle, a coach, a teacher or anyone exerting control over a minor, even a peer Not always organized criminals Both men and women of varying ages Any ethnicity or race Anyone who benefits from the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor or facilitates the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor Pimp Control: Methods of Control and Coercion: Pimp Control: Methods of Control and Coercion Pimps are masters of the art of seduction; they are able to identify the vulnerabilities of a specific child and exploit them. Once seduced, pimps use torture tactics to control their victims. Such tactics consistently lead to complete obedience and a breakdown of personal agency and autonomy. These behaviors include both physical and psychological torture. Pimps use the increased glamorization of pimp/ho culture, as well as cultural acceptance of demand for child victims, to help maintain control of the child. Slide28: Based on information from Domestic Sex Trafficking: The Criminal Operations of the American Pimp. Polaris Project. 2006 U.S. v. Brice: U.S. v. Brice In March 2006, Jaron Brice was convicted by a Federal jury in the District of Columbia of one count of Sex Trafficking a Child, two counts of Transportation of a Minor Across State Lines for Purposes of Prostitution, one count of Transportation of a Person Across State Lines for Purposes of Prostitution, three counts of First Degree Child Sexual Abuse, and two counts of Pandering. In March 2004 and continuing through May 17, 2005, Brice recruited females as young as 14 years of age to engage in prostitution for his own financial benefit. He used emotional and physical violence, including armed threats, to ensure compliance with his rules and set nightly $500 monetary quotas for the women and children, from which he kept all of the money. Brice faces sentences upwards of 40 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine and restitution. Case Study: Sharon Marcus-Kurn, Assistant U.S. Attorney for District of Columbia: Case Study: Sharon Marcus-Kurn, Assistant U.S. Attorney for District of Columbia “Jaron Brice was a typical pimp. He was a young guy who quickly learned that instead of dealing drugs, instead of being violent to strangers, it was a lot more effective and profitable to start using young, vulnerable females for his pocketbook. He picked up the victims- there was one that was 14, another that was 17, and another that was 19- and he selected these girls because each one of them was at kind of a crossroads in her life…and he saw that in their eyes. And he flooded them with compliments… and they liked it. And so, in the matter of about a half hour, he could tell these were girls his techniques, his ploys were going to work on.” Buyers/”Johns”: Buyers/”Johns” Who are the Buyers?: Who are the Buyers? Buyers are the individuals who are the recipients of the sexual services – paid for by monetary or non-monetary means. Buyers can be all ages, ethnicities and represent a variety of social and economic backgrounds. Buyers are equally as responsible for the crime of domestic minor sex trafficking despite their lack of intent or knowledge of age or victim status. Who Gets Arrested?: Who Gets Arrested? According to statistics obtained from the Chicago Police in District 14 over a two year period (2001 and 2002), 89% of the arrests were female victims of commercial sex acts, 9.6% were male purchasers of commercial sex acts, and 0.6% were pimps.13 Do you think this arrest ratio would be the same in your city? Why do you think there are so many more arrests for selling sex than for buying sex? 13 From Hughes, Donna M. The Demand for Victims of Sex Trafficking. 2005. Collaborative Best Practices for Task Forces: Collaborative Best Practices for Task Forces Myths and Misconceptions: Myths and Misconceptions Myth: The child knew what he or she was getting into. Fact: Victims are often seduced, coerced, tricked or forced into prostitution by pimps. Myth: The child is a criminal. Fact: The child is a victim of the crime of sex trafficking. Myth: The victim was paid for his or her services. Fact: All or most of the money usually goes to the pimp; the child rarely keeps any. Myth: The child had freedom of movement. Fact: Victims are held in physical and/or emotional bondage and are not free to leave. Myths and Misconceptions (cont.): Myths and Misconceptions (cont.) Myth: U.S. citizens can’t be trafficked. Fact: Any child in commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking. Myth: It’s not trafficking when the trafficker and victim are related. Fact: Anytime someone profits from the sale of a child for commercial sex, that person is a trafficker. Myth: It’s not trafficking unless victims are moved across borders. Fact: Trafficking refers to the act of benefiting from the commercial sexual exploitation of a child, not the act of moving a child. Myth: Victims trafficked within a state don’t qualify for federal victim assistance. Fact: All victims of trafficking qualify under federal law for victim assistance. Challenges in Combating Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: Challenges in Combating Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Lack of shelters and social services for victims Difficult to identify victims & traffickers Cooperation of victims difficult to obtain Discrepancies between federal and state laws Lack of public knowledge/prevention programs Strategies for Identifying Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: Strategies for Identifying Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Due to the covert nature of the crime, sex trafficking can come to your attention indirectly through other violations: Prostitution Domestic violence crimes Drug charges Runaways/homeless Cases of assault Curfew violation Loitering/trespassing Cases of sexual abuse/neglect Interactions with Potential Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims: Interactions with Potential Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims Building Trust: - Reassure the child that you are there to help them - Don’t interview the child armed or in uniform - When possible, interview one-on-one - Avoid derogatory labels like “prostitute” and “delinquent” - Don’t make promises - Conveying a sense of safety to emancipated victims is of paramount importance Interactions with Potential Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims: Interactions with Potential Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims 2. Learning the Truth: - Separate the victim from his or her trafficker before questioning begins. - Use informal conversation - Remember most victims do not self-identify as “trafficking victims” - Victims may often tell the false story they’ve been coached to give; it often takes 3-5 encounters before the true story may emerge. - Avoid pity, judgment, patronization and victim- blaming attitudes or body language. - Allow victim to set length and pace. - Watch for and respond to nonverbal cues. Interactions with Potential Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims (cont.): Interactions with Potential Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims (cont.) 3. Breaking the Pimp’s Control: - Explain that the pimp was breaking the law, not the child. - Understand the victim may believe he or she is in love with the pimp. - Understand the victim may have been told the police will not believe them or aid them or that the police will harm them. Case Studies:Successful Collaborations: Case Studies: Successful Collaborations U.S v. Gates and Heyward: U.S v. Gates and Heyward On June 23, 2004, Gary Gates of Washington, DC pleaded guilty to four counts of Sex Trafficking of Children and one count of First Degree Child Sexual Abuse. Gates and his accomplice, Tamisha Heyward were indicted in April 2004 for running a sex trafficking business. Gates would often travel to Baltimore where he would prey upon girls as young as 14-years-old and entice them to return with him to DC, then force them to engage in commercial sex. Gates and Heyward moved much of their business from the streets to the Internet, setting up two websites. Gates and Heyward were charged with Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking of Children and Sex Trafficking by Force, among other offenses. U.S. v. Curtis: U.S. v. Curtis In July 2004, Carlos Curtis was found guilty in the US District Court for the District of Columbia of 6 counts, including Sex Trafficking of a Child, Transportation of a Minor Across State Lines for Purposes of Prostitution, and Possession of Child Pornography. His conviction represented the first time that new Federal laws created under the Trafficking Victims Protections Act (TVPA) of 2000 were successfully used. In November 2002, Curtis and an accomplice gained the trust of a 12-year-old runaway child by making false promises and offering her food, clothing, and shelter. They then forced the child to engage in commercial sex on the streets of Washington, DC. On March 17, 2006, two years after his conviction, Curtis was sentenced to life in prison. Collaborative Approach: Collaborative Approach Plan now before the first case Are you aware of your agency’s procedures? What are the likely avenues for trafficking in your community? Be proactive; go meet the players Do you know who the contacts are? Have you begun to develop a trusted relationship? Consider formalizing your partnership Develop written agreements Slide46: Tools for a Successful Alliance14 Compassion Communication Commitment Cases 14 Presentation by U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle, Southern District of Texas, at the 2006 DOJ Human Trafficking Conference in New Orleans. Compassion: Compassion Understanding each agency’s perspective Understanding the plight of the victims Understanding individual strengths Communication: Communication Mission statement with clear goals and objectives Protocols (reactive and proactive) Mutual respect Resolving conflicts Commitment: Commitment U.S. Attorney direction and support Periodic meetings with agenda Dedicated agency points of contact Full-time investment Brainstorm Questions: Brainstorm Questions Do you think you might have encountered a domestic minor sex trafficking victim? What would you do differently now? What groups or individuals would be key to help you with this in your community? What can your community do to combat trafficking? What action steps are you and/or your organization/agency willing to take? Credits: Credits American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. http://www.aacap.org/page.ww?section=Facts+for+Families&name=Foster+Care Detective Ken Lawson, Sexual Assault Unit, Columbus Police Hughes, Donna M. The Demand for Victims of Sex Trafficking. 2005. http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/demand_for_victims.pdf International Association of Chiefs of Police. The Crime of Human Trafficking: A Law Enforcement Guide to Identification and Investigation. http://www.theiacp.org/documents/pdfs/RCD/CompleteHTGuide.pdf Kansas City Star. Man charged as teen pimp. 2006-06-24. Page: B1 Las Vegas Police Department. STOP Program Statistics. National Runaway Switchboard. http://www.1800runaway.org/. NISMART (National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Throwaway Children). http://www.focusas.com/Runaways.html. Polaris Project. Domestic Sex Trafficking: The Criminal Operations of the American Pimp. 2006. www.polarisproject.org. Polaris Project. Understanding Victim’s Mindset. 2006. www.polarisproject.org. The Toledo Blade. Captive teenage cousins suffer crash course in forced sex trade. 2006-01-09. http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060109/NEWS08/601090328. U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle, Southern District of Texas, at the 2006 DOJ Human Trafficking Conference in New Orleans. U.S. Midterm Review on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in America. www.sharedhope.org. U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html Slide52: Contact Information If you have questions please contact Melissa Snow, Project Coordinator: Melissa@sharedhope.org Phone: (703) 351-8062 www.sharedhope.org ©2007 Shared Hope International All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only. Any other use or copying is prohibited. Alterations are prohibited.