This is a subject I've wanted to get more into, because the idea of it crushes my heart. Sex trafficking isn't something that happens in Thailand or some other third-world country - it happens here, in the United States, all the time. And there's not nearly enough being done about it. Terrific article in the New York Times this past week by Nicholas Kristoff. In his companion blog, he offers a suggestion to resolving this epidemic:
The approach that seems to be gathering steam is the Swedish model, in which johns are prosecuted but the women/girls themselves are treated as victims and are given social services but are not prosecuted. The advantage of this is that it cracks down on demand, which in turn reduces the incentive for trafficking girls in Sweden. A growing number of countries are moving to adopt that approach, and police officials in New York City are studying it as well.
Another great story by NPR about prostitution in the United States (warning - this is a straightforward report. Not for the uber-sensitive).