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January 28, 2006

CWA: Human Trafficking Now Tied for World's #2 Crime

Second to Drug Dealing as Largest and Fastest-Growing

To: National Desk

Contact: Stacey Holliday of Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 126

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 /Christian Wire Service/ -- Concerned Women for America (CWA) is saddened by a United Nations report that says human trafficking has tied illegal arms dealing as the world's second largest and fastest-growing criminal enterprise, behind only illicit drug trading.

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, said, "Combating trafficking is like running on a treadmill; we are moving as fast as we can, but it is almost impossible for our programs to keep up with the destructive path of the criminal networks involved in human trafficking."

The U.N. report declares that nearly 30 million people are caught in modern-day slavery and that the industry now brings its criminals about $10 billion a year. With victims bought and sold over the Internet on such popular sites as eBay and Craig's List, trafficking victims in the United States number over 50,000 –– one-third of these are assumed to be children. Human trafficking includes sex trafficking, forced marriage, and labor trafficking, such as sweatshops, migrant workers and domestic service.

Dr. Crouse, who has worked for nearly a decade to combat sex trafficking at the national and international levels, commented, "While the U.N. blames social and economic disparities for fostering trafficking, the demand for prostitutes is the driving force behind sex trafficking where the victims overwhelmingly are women and girls."

Crouse adds, "In the United States Congress, legislators are working to end the demand for 'sex slaves,' and more and more states are passing legislation that will target pimps and johns rather than further punish the victims. They are used as a lucrative commodity in sex transactions, often being sold repeatedly until they are completely used up."

Crouse concludes that, in the United States, public policy addresses both the prosecution of criminals engaged in human trafficking and the protection of vulnerable women and girls who are potential victims of sex trafficking.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.
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