Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2015

Publication Citation

22 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 737 (2015)


For decades, the world has faced a tremendous obstacle in locating trafficking victims and their perpetrators. The United States has enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and implemented a system of Trafficking in Persons Reports (TIPs) to track domestic progress. Nonetheless, even more challenging than addressing adult trafficking is conquering the rampant existence of child trafficking, which inherently has its own unique challenges. Child trafficking comes in many forms and affects different regions of the world in various ways. Misunderstanding precisely what constitutes trafficking is one of the obstacles to ridding the world of its existence. Moreover, the victimsadolescents- are also misunderstood, mislabeled, and as a result, left to the hands of their perpetrators rather than brought to safety by trained specialists. The United States, as a global leader, has a role to play in resolving the ambiguities within child trafficking laws. It has a duty to create and enforce child-specific remedies and protections that recognize an adolescent's own best interests. Furthermore, the United States can help diminish predator success by empowering youth, recognizing their constitutional rights, and giving them a voice within the nation's legal framework. Those countries that have enacted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) have already adopted these ideals of empowering youth. By failing to enact the CRC and with case law precedent, the United States has sent a message that an adolescent's own best interests are not defined by him or herself, but by others. Thus, the United States has created an impediment in the way of terminating child trafficking operations