Women and children around the globe are exploited daily for the gain of

sex buyers. These buyers care not for the human being that is being sold to them,

nor the physical, mental and emotional trauma being inflicted on such a victim.

Rather, these buyers use them up, empty them out, and find a replacement. Many

of these women and children are held captive, either economically, physically, or

mentally. They are forced to prostitute themselves out in forms of street-walking,

illicit massage parlors, strip clubs, sex videos, family and friend circles, as well as

in criminal syndicates. Yet, the States of this international community offer no

relief. While there are international and domestic laws in place that criminalize

and penalize sex trafficking, these laws are almost never enforced, creating a de

facto acceptance and endorsement of such trafficking and slavery practices.

Despite sex trafficking being a form of slavery and, therefore, jus cogens, no

international actor has taken initiative to initiate a change in the world community,

likely due to this criminal industry being at over a one-billion-dollar profit.

However, the United States is in a prime spot politically, legally, and

internationally to create this change by both beginning to enforce their own

domestic laws criminalizing sex trafficking, as well as pushing for sex trafficking

to be officially condemned as an act violating international customary law. This

would create an avenue for offending States to be held liable in international

criminal courts by other States. The laws are in place to end sex trafficking; now,

it is a matter of finding ways to enforce them, as this paper will demonstrate.

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