Under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, sex trafficking is defined as "The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act where such an act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age." This international issue affects virtually every country in the world, as either a supplier of the victims to be trafficked, or as a location for the trafficking to occur.
Internationally, the sex trafficking industry generates a $32 Billion dollar profit according to the International Labor Organization. In the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are an estimated 20.9 million people internationally who are victims of sex trafficking. Women and girls make up almost 75% of the trafficked victims, with each prostitute earning an average of $67,200 per year. 50% of those trafficked are estimated to be children. It is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, because there is such a high demand. Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where this research is focused, are all labeled as "Tier 3" or "Tier 2" under the US Department of Foreign Affairs for their rankings on sex trafficking operations and legislature put in action to prevent it.
Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo