However, only one study was carried out in 2009 and there has been no study since. Experts say that the numbers of victims, or traffickers, are not hard. Therefore, on Thursday, Mr. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) Introduced a Bill essentially repeating the wording of the Victim Trafficking Authorization Act 2005, while at the same time accounting for victims of trafficking. He said that he would put pressure on the Congress to make the money available for the survey. Experts in human trafficking have said that the information is urgently needed to understand the extent of the problem, to learn how traffickers work and to stop them.
“I think people will be surprised to learn that we have not done a comprehensive national study,” said Hawley. “It is important that we understand the problem, and that it is a problem, an epidemic. The first step is to find the scope of the problem. ”
Kevin Malone, president of the Institute of Human Trafficking, said studies to capture the range of trafficking would be a huge help as many people do not believe the problem exists. Many times, we get the backward pressure, ‘Where are the data? Where is the information? Táimid We are out in the field, we can create numbers on Los Angeles, or Tampa, and we estimate that 100,000 children are being bought and sold in this country every day. But until we have the data, it is almost as we need to create it. ”
Malone said that the definitive information about how many men, women and children were being sold or held against their will was “almost like a game costume because we would like to bring something else apart from what is on. we know from the street. ”
The trafficking act requires two studies at present. The former addresses the estimated number and demographic characteristics of all types of trafficking, which may involve compulsory labor, and the number of criminal cases involving trafficking. Hawley's bill would require estimates of the number and demography of victims.
The second study relates specifically to human trafficking and looks not only at the number and types of offenders, but also on the estimated value of the commercial sex economy and the number of related criminal investigations.
“You don't have to be precise,” said Michael Shively, senior adviser to the National Center for Sexual Exploitation and a former official of the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the Department of Justice. “But if you're talking about thousands of victims, or hundreds of thousands, or million, related to it. How many victims? How many buyers?
And, Shively added, “This involves more than one number. There are minors. Regional differences in trafficking, economic backgrounds of people trafficked. ”You can know where the most acute problems are concentrated on these areas, said Shively.
He says that a number of studies on lesser human trafficking have been funded over the years, but nothing on a national scale. We worked vigorously on one study in Midwestern county where researchers spent two weeks in the county prison, two weeks in shelters and two weeks in hospitals, and found that about 7 per cent of those interviewed were victims of trafficking. . “It issued 7,300 victims in the county,” said Shively, “and probably conservative,” because the study used the definition of trafficking as being held by force. The study also found that almost all victims had contact with a social service agency at some point, but many had not received the necessary assistance.
Hawley, a former Missouri general attorney, said law enforcement officers are familiar with crime statistics and other analytical data to tackle problems in their communities. But those fighting against sexual trafficking do not have these data.
“I think this data will tell us who the victims are,” said Hawley, “who is at risk of being victimized. What makes them redeemed? Who are the makers? What are their methods? We need to be aware of what the traffickers do, so we can relieve victims of this modern slavery and cut the bad guys off at the knee. ”