Faculty Publications


Exploited Vulnerability: Legal and Psychological Perspectives on Child Sex Trafficking Victims

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Joan A Reid

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2011


While the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 and subsequent reauthorizations defined all minors under the age of 18 involved in commercial sex acts as victims, state and local systems continue to classify prostituted minors who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents as offenders. A review of the historical, neurological, and developmental vulnerabilities typical of child sex trafficking victims reveals serious doubts regarding their ability to control their choices or escape from a trafficker. The uniform shielding of all child victims of sex trafficking, whether international or domestic, from legal culpability for the criminal conduct of traffickers is recommended.