In an effort to stop the exploitation of children as a result of human trafficking, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to educate law enforcement officers, social service providers, and healthcare professionals about the problem and how to help the victims.

According to the U.S. Department of State, more than half of human trafficking victims worldwide are children. The new partnership is the latest development in HHS’s Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking national public awareness campaign.

Child victims of human trafficking are exploited sexually through prostitution, pornography, and the sex tourism industry. Child victims are also often used as migrant farm labor or in sweatshops.

Many children are lured into these situations with promises of a better life in the United States, expecting to be reunited with family, to work in a legitimate job, or to attend school. Once they become entrenched in an abusive environment, they suffer physical and mental abuse that can make escape and recovery from the lifestyle difficult.

Educational materials, including brochures, posters, and fact sheets will soon be available.

For more information on human trafficking visit www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking.

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