What is child sex trafficking/child labor trafficking? How do I report it?

Types: FAQ
FAQ Program Areas: Child Welfare


Children can be victims of sex and/or labor trafficking. Under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, child sex trafficking is defined as "the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, patronizing, soliciting a child for commercial sex, including prostitution and the production of child pornography." Child labor trafficking refers to "the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining a child for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery." Child trafficking is a crime under federal, international, and state law.

If you believe you may have information about a trafficking situation, please contact the toll-free National Human Trafficking Hotline hotline at 1.888.373.7888. The toll-free hotline is available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in more than 200 languages. You may reach the National Hotline via e-mail at help@humantraffickinghotline.org or by submitting a tip through the online tip reporting form.

Children and youth who are sexually trafficked often have been victims of child abuse; accordingly, research indicates that they are involved with the child welfare system at some point in their lives. Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children's Bureau, addresses the intersection of child trafficking and child welfare in its publication Human Trafficking and Child Welfare: A Guide for Child Welfare Agencies.