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Sex Trafficking at the U.S. Borders: Victim Characteristics

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2018
19 pages
This study conducted a literature review to identify common risk factors for sex-tracking victims being brought into the United States through the Candian and Mexican borders; and the review also examined the response of the governments of these countries to this victimization, including legislation used to aid these victims.
Various factors along the U.S.-Canada border contribute to sex traffickers' ability to bring an estimated 1,500-2,000 sex-trafficking victims from Canada to the United States yearly. Research on sex trafficking victims brought into the U.S. - Canadian border has identified a number of risk factors. Including entering Canada from other countries as visitors, family-class immigrants, refugees, temporary workers, or as erotic dancers. They are then transported to the United States via motor vehicle, boat, or on foot across the border to meet waiting cars in U.S. territory. Canada is reportedly primarily a transit country for East-Asian crime groups, with other large source countries of victims being from Russia, the Philippines, China, and Mexico. Canada currently has outdated and fragmented data collection on sex-trafficking, which prevents determination of current incident rates, prevalence estimates, and information on victims and sex trafficker typologies. A suggested recommendation is the establishment of a Canadian human trafficking hotline similar to the human trafficking hotline in the United States or a centralized system for data collection. Mexico is both a significant source and destination country for sex trafficking persons. particularly into the United States. Risk factors for sex trafficking from Mexico into the United States include economic and familial instability, drug addiction, marginalized sexual identity, abuse, disability, and low education level. Current U.S. policies protect victims from deportation and prosecution, but immigration raids arrest victims for illegal immigration or prostitution. Victim narratives and 44 references