A New York Times article by Ian Urbina that focuses on the problem of child sex trafficking, estimates that there are over 1.6 million children who run away from home every year.
(When No One’s Looking, Ian Urbina New York Times Oct. 26, 2009)
Urbina says that nearly one third of those children engage in sex for food, drugs or a place to stay, and that this informal barter system can quickly escalate into more formalized prostitution, when money changes hands.
STATE OF THE NATION brings focus to this issue, and narrows down on a little researched area of concern related to sex trafficking:
While it is mostly girls that are affected, many boys are lured into this ‘industry’ as well.
Child sex trafficking does not only happen with runaways. The characters in STATE OF THE NATION are not runaways. They are kids from varying ethnicities, living in various economic circumstances.
Many times incest, or molestation by adults familiar to the victim serve as a ‘gateway’ to the commodifying of the body as a means to obtain various things, whether material, emotional, or psychological.
Sometimes the struggle to survive is about more than what we think it is.