Sex trafficking is a moral and legal tragedy that affects thousands in the United States and abroad. The U.S. State Department estimates that human traffickers bring between 14,500 and 17,500 persons annually into the United States for various avenues of exploitation, including involuntary servitude and forced prostitution. Human traffickers are highly organized into criminal syndicates that reap exponential profits exploiting vulnerable women and children. Individual states struggle to prosecute traffickers and must rely on federal prosecution of trafficking enterprises. International cooperation with local law enforcement is essential in combating trafficking, especially in the sex trade. This Article proposes that an international database be maintained to track the whereabouts of prosecuted traffickers, similar to the sex offender registry in the United States. Like the U.S. sex offender laws, which seek to dramatically decrease recidivism among sex offenders, an international registry could have a deterrent effect on trafficking. Limiting and monitoring the travel of convicted traffickers would be a new avenue that international law enforcement and governing bodies could use to contain the pernicious practice of trafficking.
Geneva Brown, Women and Children Last: The Prosecution of Sex Traffickers as Sex Offenders and the Need for a Sex Trafficker Registry, 31 B.C. Third World L.J. 1 (2011).