Over-Policing Sex Trafficking: How U.S. Law Enforcement Should Reform Operations

The USC Gould International Human Rights Clinic will release Over-Policing Sex-Trafficking: How U.S. Law Enforcement Should Reform Operations, on Monday, November 15, 2021.

The report is one of the first comprehensive reports about U.S. anti-sex trafficking law enforcement operations, jointly coordinated at the federal, state and local levels, and often known as “raids”, “stings” or “sweeps”. They involve law enforcement working undercover or investigating private establishments to identify persons who are sex trafficked (referred to as survivors or victims), and perpetrators. The U.S. government has long used these operations as a primary means for addressing sex trafficking, presenting them as an effective anti-sex trafficking tool through compelling media releases and press conferences. Meanwhile, there is little public data about operations’ outcomes and funding, despite distressing claims that operations harm and retraumatize persons who are sex trafficked, while perpetuating systemic racism as well as discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and undocumented immigrants.