The 2015 summit on “Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth in the United States” will engage, educate, and empower 500 attendees by featuring speakers and workshops that address pressing issues in the comprehensive response to the sexual exploitation of children and youth for profit.

Continuing with the theme of “Invisible No More,” a movement to expose the child abuse and neglect epidemic in our country so that no victim is overlooked, Wynona’s House is putting the focus on Human Trafficking and the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth in the United States – an issue that affects an estimated 5.5 million children worldwide (1). According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated $150.2 billion per year is made in profits from human trafficking, with nearly $100 billion generated by forced sexual exploitation, making it the second most profitable illegal industry in the world.

Though primarily thought of as a third world problem, human trafficking is very much an issue that needs to be addressed domestically. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are a reported 300,000-400,000 child victims of sexual exploitation each year in the United States, with an average age of entry spanning between 12 and 14 years old (2). In addition to these victims, an estimated 300,000 more children are at risk for becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation(3).  

The Summit will enhance interagency and cross systems collaborations and improve community response to child sexual exploitation and human trafficking by addressing elements of prevention, investigation, prosecution and treatment of child sex trafficking. 

(1) International Labor Organization, June 2012.
(2) National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children. Washington, D.C.: Shared Hope International, 2009. 
(3) Estes, R. & Weiner, N. (2001) The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work.