Monday, April 14, 2008

Las Vegas: Major Destination for Sex Trafficking Victims

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - Las Vegas has been named a major destination for the sex trafficking of minors. A new report from the group Shared Hope International reveals just how serious the problem is.

Nationwide, 100,000 to 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation. The average age for children to be sold into prostitution is 12 to 14. Here in Clark County, 30-percent of victims were sold for sex by family members.

Our county also has the highest number of juvenile prostitution cases in the U.S. The study found that one third of the minors trapped into prostitution in Las Vegas are from here. Two thirds are from 40 different states and brought here to be bought.

The study is the first of four looking at different cities showing just how much of an epidemic the sex trafficking of minors really is.

Child prostitutes are arrested every month in Las Vegas. It's big business done in the shadows -- back rooms and in the hotels. Now, a new report confirms the prostitution of minors is a major problem in Las Vegas.

There is no way to put exact numbers on how many children are involved, but the women's crisis group, Shared Hope, tried to shed light on the extent of the sex trafficking of minors. The organization provided these interviews with child prostitutes as well as traffickers to highlight the problem.

"When I turned 12-years-old, I started street prostitution. I had a pimp," said Tonya, a sex trafficking victim...

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT LasVegasNow.com

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