September | October 2013

Photo of a boy and two girls
Institute of Medicine, National Research Council Release Report on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Minors

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and  Sex Trafficking in the United States On September 25, 2013, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council's (NRC's) Committee on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States released their final report outlining the findings of a study on the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States. IOM and NRC are branches of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study, commissioned by OJJDP, was conducted by a committee of independent experts who reviewed and synthesized relevant literature in a range of fields, including the behavioral sciences, health and medicine, and law; examined law enforcement data, health surveys, and national juvenile justice data sets; and consulted with experts and knowledgeable stakeholders.

The committee based its deliberations on three fundamental principles: that these crimes shoud be understood as acts of abuse and violence against children and adolescents, that minors who are commercially sexually exploited or trafficked for sexual purposes should not be considered criminals, and that identification of victims and survivors as well as any interventions should do no further harm.

Entitled Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking in the United States, the report recommends increasing public awareness and understanding of the issue; strengthening the law's response; expanding research to advance understanding and to support the development of prevention and intervention strategies; building multisector and interagency partnerships; and developing trainings for child welfare, law, education, and health care professionals in the identification of and assistance to victims and survivors.

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To download a copy of Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking in the United States, visit the IOM Web site