Illegal Immigration & Dynamics of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking from Latin America


Modern human slavery is a growing global phenomenon that currently entraps an estimated 2 million victims, and generates $7 Billion in criminal profits annually, rating third in profitability only after drugs and arms sales for the Mafia, yakuzas, cartels and similar international criminal organizations. The U.S. CIA estimates that approximately 50,000 persons are trafficked into slavery in the United States annually. A large majority of those victims are forced into prostitution. In is estimated that 30,000 sexual slaves die each year around the world from torture, neglect and diseases including HIV/AIDS.

In this paper we focus upon the mass sexual exploitation of girl children and women from Latin America who are kidnapped or who are convinced with false promises of work to voluntarily be transported across international borders into the United States. In either case, upon arrival in the United States victims are threatened and forced to prostitute themselves in a strange land, typically without pay. The U.S. CIA estimates that 15,000 enslaved Latin-Americans are trafficked into the United States each year. This paper elaborates on the cultural background of Latin American trafficking victims and describes Latin America’s growing crisis of impunity in the sexual abuse and exploitation of women and specifically girl children.

As organized sex trafficking expands rapidly across the diverse cultural communities within the United States, an array of public and private institutions are working to understand this problem, quantify it and develop effective responses. These response activities typically involve international, federal and local law enforcement; medical and mental health professionals; religious institutions; academics; social service agencies, immigrant advocacy and other community based organizations; and federal, state and local legislators and policy makers. International and regional agencies and national governments have recently engaged in major collaborations with academics and victim advocates to provide a leadership role in response to this problem. The United Nations, UNICEF, The U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Justice, other agencies of the U.S. government, the European Union and the Organization of American states are all actively working on this issue. Together with leading academics and other subject matter experts, these organizations have developed protocols, treaties, legislation, international working groups and major international research studies to define and respond to the growing sex trafficking crisis.

At the local level public safety and trauma professionals are beginning to interact with children and women who have been the victims of domestic and international sex trafficking schemes. This interaction is likely to grow as sex trafficking expands in the United States, and as the American criminal justice system begins to focus increasing law enforcement attention on the problem. The judicial system and trauma practitioners will face an increasing need to develop effective protocols to respond to this victim population. In the context of Latin American sex trafficking victims, the development of culturally appropriate responses are especially important. Language barriers, American/ Latino cultural differences and significant, country and region-specific nuances need to be taken into account in dealing with Latin American girl and women sexual exploitation victims.

Sex trafficking affects hundreds of thousands of women across Latin America. We focus here upon the largest component of the Latin America to U.S. problem, the trafficking of girls and women from Mexico and Central America across the U.S. border, and their subsequent sexual exploitation through forced prostitution in the United States.

The world’s sex trafficking networks, who often cajole women and girls into traveling abroad with false promises of honest service sector work in restaurants, child care, office and home cleaning and hotels.


4 Responses

  1. Hello McCauley,

    Thank you for posting this.

    You are welcome to use my paper in its entirety.

    I would appreciate my name and web site being posted along with the paper.

    Mr Goolsby,
    Thank you. Keep up the excellant work. I believe your site is referenced in the post … and I would encourage my readers to visit the site. This issue is beyond distressing …… this is proof of the evil at work in the world today ….

    You can link to the site here:


    – Chuck Goolsby

  2. Hi, I was wondering if this website was the only resource you used. I’ll be doing a presentation on Trafficking in Latin America and a few of the statistics I read differ from yours.

    Thank you, Diana


    I have several posts on the topic – use the search function Word Press supplies – when a stat is used for the first time I cite the source – YOU MIGHT JUST DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND USE THE MOST RECENT DATA – please note my post date – the stats differ, slightly, year to year and by source – some individuals are in denial that a problem exists ………

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: