How do we stop it? The answer lies in understanding that the enormity and pervasiveness of the global sex trafficking industry is driven by the ability to generate immense profits at almost no real risk.
Modern-day slavery is immensely more profitable than old-world slavery, which is the key factor driving the tremendous demand to acquire new slaves through the practice of human trafficking.
Above all, trafficked sex slaves are by far the most profitable slaves in the world. Even though trafficked sex slaves comprise only about four percent of the world’s slaves—the vast majority of whom are bonded laborers, forced laborers, and trafficked slaves exploited in industries other than commercial sex—they generated approximately 40 percent of the $95.4 billion in profits enjoyed by slave owners worldwide. When we consider that the global weighted average acquisition cost of a trafficked sex slave is approximately $1,900 and the global weighted average monthly profits generated through the commercial sexual exploitation of that slave are approximately $2,400, it is clear that the return on investment is staggering.1
Furthermore, there is little risk involved for perpetrators. In most countries around the world, the criminal penalties for sex trafficking are light on both prison terms and economic damages. (Only a handful of countries, such as the United States, the UK, the Netherlands, Albania, and Nepal, stipulate relatively robust statutory economic penalties for human trafficking offences. However, even in these countries, the statutory economic penalties remain severely insufficient in relation to the economic benefits of the offence.) There are always provisions for incarceration, but sentences are relatively short and can often be further reduced by small fines. Even where there are relatively stiff financial penalties in the law, as with the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, prosecution and conviction of trafficking offences remain uncommon.
As a result, the real risk of exploiting sex slaves is almost nil. Basically, the costs of exploiting sex slaves are minuscule compared to the immense profits that can be generated. Assuming that criminals are rational economic agents, it is reasonable to expect that they will flock to the opportunity to generate immense profits at almost no cost or risk. These conditions explain the powerful forces of demand to acquire and exploit sex slaves around the world. Though this is happening globally there are some solutions that can be enacted here on our home-front...There's no reason why the U.S. government should have to combat this alone
Our Solutions: 1.) Literature on trafficking at truck stops 2.) Bulletin boards featuring runaways/ missing persons (teens) 3.) Amber alert type program for known victims when they are spotted 4.) Create an international slavery and trafficking inspection force, modeled on United Nations weapons inspections and charged with searching for establishments that exploit slaves, freeing the victims, and detaining the criminals. 5.) Create trained and paid community vigilance committees, consisting of members of the community, taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, and other specially trained individuals, to seek out establishments holding slaves and report their findings to the inspection force. 6.) Initiate proactive law enforcement raids against establishments for which there is a strong suspicion of slave-like exploitation, with protections in place to minimize adverse effects on the individuals living in those establishments. 7.) Increase salaries for anti-trafficking police, prosecutors, and judges in developing nations. 8.) Create fast-track courts to prosecute trafficking crimes, with international observers and judicial review to minimize corruption. 9.) Fund witness protection programs and provide living income support for slaves and their families for the duration of a trial and up to twelve months afterward. 10.) Significantly increase the financial penalties associated with sex-slave crimes, including asset forfeiture and victim compensation.