Child sex trafficking is a pervasive crime impacting all of our communities. It is often overlooked yet occurring in plain sight. Prior to the current pandemic, we took trains and buses to commute to-and-from work each day. We stayed in hotels when we travelled. We used rest stops and shopped at convenience stores. Each of these experiences provide us with opportunities to open our eyes and identify when a child is being exploited. And while many activities are currently limited, and day-to-day routines have changed for many of us, child sex trafficking is still occurring. Each of us has a role to play and we can start by learning to recognize the signs of child sex trafficking and being prepared to know how to respond we see them.
NCMEC receives reports of suspected child sex trafficking through our 24-hour hotline 1-800-THE-LOST and CyberTipline.org. These reports provide us with an opportunity to support law enforcement in building child sex trafficking investigations, intervene in exploitation and help connect survivors to services. Additionally, as a clearinghouse for this type of information, NCMEC is able to identify trends and observe unique insights in how this horrific crime is manifesting across this nation.
Armed with this knowledge and informed by field experts, including those with lived experience, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is excited to share a new online learning program to better equip law enforcement, child-serving professionals, and concerned citizens to combat child sex trafficking. Released on January 18th during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the free three-part online training course, “Addressing Child Sex Trafficking: Risk Factors, Recognition and Response,” introduces the subject of child sex trafficking, a complex and multifaceted crime. By addressing indicators, vulnerabilities, and the trauma associated with child sex trafficking, this course will provide a deeper understanding the issue and its impact on victims and communities.
Check out NCMEC CONNECT for your training needs and to stay up to date on all future child sex trafficking programs!