Monday, May 02, 2011

What About American Girls Sold on the Streets?

Nicholas D. Kristof/The New York Times

When we hear about human trafficking in India or Cambodia, our hearts melt. The victim has sometimes been kidnapped and imprisoned, even caged, in a way that conjures our images of slavery.

But in the United States we see girls all the time who have been trafficked — and our hearts harden. The problem is that these girls aren’t locked in cages. Rather, they’re often runaways out on the street wearing short skirts or busting out of low-cut tops, and many Americans perceive them not as trafficking victims but as miscreants who have chosen their way of life. So even when they’re 14 years old, we often arrest and prosecute them — even as the trafficker goes free.

In fact, human trafficking is more similar in America and Cambodia than we would like to admit. Teenage girls on American streets may appear to be selling sex voluntarily, but they’re often utterly controlled by violent pimps who take every penny they earn.

Read the full article here.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:16 PM

    Thanks for the post, just because girls walking the streets speak English doesn't mean they are thrilled to be there or that they see a dime of the profits. Pimps take all the money to keep them dependent and keep them coming back when their parents won't accept them at home etc...