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Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery, where people profit from the control and exploitation of others.

Although slavery is commonly thought to be a thing of the past, human trafficking still exists today throughout the United States and globally, when traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control other people for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex or forcing them to provide labor services against their will. Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to trap victims in horrific situations every day. All trafficking victims share one essential experience – the loss of freedom.

There are two primary factors driving the spread of human trafficking: high profits and low risk. Like drugs and arms trafficking, human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. Every year, traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world, including here in the United States.

Human trafficking is a broad term. The focus for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) and Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) is sex trafficking of minors and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. This form of victimization is a subset of the broader problem of child sexual abuse.

Data is hard to come by for a meaningful description of sex trafficking as it relates to minors in the United States. Research indicates there is a strong association with child sexual abuse and sex trafficking of minors (Institute of Medicine & National Research Council, 2013). However, there is no recent research to estimate the number of minors victimized by human trafficking or an estimate for the number of minors at risk.

The resources offered herein are designed to equip child maltreatment practitioners with tools they can use to recognize and combat the sex trafficking of minors. All materials are devoted to filling the gaps in knowledge and understanding of sex trafficking of minors and provide resources for appropriate response, reaction, and questioning for all professionals working with children, throughout the nation and beyond.


The NCAC Librarian has created a bibliography of the research related to trafficking of minors. Included are citations and abstracts for articles, books, book chapters, dissertations, and reports. All publications are English language. Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors: A Bibliography


Assessing Professional and Community Needs, Resources and Experience with Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Research to Practice

Child Protective Services and Risk Assessment-Human Trafficking Screening Tools


A new Open Access journal devoted to trafficking and exploitation: Dignity: A Journal of Sexual Exploitation and Violence

Resources (U.S. and International)

The Child Abuse Library Online (CALiO) provides access to a significant portion of the research on human trafficking and sex trafficking of minors. These publications are freely accessible and listed in date descending order. Restricted access publications are not included. Publications

Online Training and Webinars

Other Agency’s Human Trafficking Online Trainings and Resources:

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Child Sex Trafficking Webinar Series

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Office-Addressing Human Trafficking resource hub

ICMEC E-learning Courses: Online medical training courses
Office for Victims of Crime – Human Trafficking

Office for Victims of Crime-Human Trafficking – Featured Resources
Office for Victims of Crime “Faces of Human Trafficking” Video Series
National Human Trafficking Hotline-Resource Library
International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Polaris Project
Federal Bureau of Investigation- Human Trafficking

National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC)

Homeland Security-Blue Campaign
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants- Human Trafficking Resources
Sharedhope International
U.S. Department of Education

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Fax: 256.534.6883

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Child Abuse Library Online (CALiO) is supported by a grant awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.