Arizona’s geographic location and network of freeways makes it a hub for illicit activity. The same economic forces that fuel tourism in Arizona also support sex trafficking – warm weather, multiple interstate highways, proximity to the border, short drive to Las Vegas or San Diego, major conference destination, and it is home to many professional sporting events. According to the U.S. State Department, Arizona is a main destination and transit point for labor and sex trafficking from within the U.S. and multiple regions of the world.
The biggest misconception is that trafficking is something that happens overseas.
Local and federal law enforcement has indicated that sex trafficking is happening in Arizona at an alarming rate.
The income potential and the use of technology are reasons why the crime is prevalent. Currently, sex trafficking is estimated to be a $12 billion per year industry. According to a study by STIR, 78,000 men in Phoenix are online sex ad customers.
Gone are the days when prostitution was isolated to certain "tracks." While street-level prostitution still occurs, prostitution is more frequently facilitated by the internet, where it is as easy to "order a girl as it is to buy a pizza."
Profit from sex trafficking is a billion dollar business, second only to illegal arms trafficking and the illicit drug trade.
Sex trafficking is a high profit, low risk business where the commodity can be sold repeatedly, unlike drugs or weapons where the product can only be sold one time. For any business to survive, it requires supply and demand. There appears to be a growing demand fueled by easy access through the internet, and a ready supply of underage girls that are constantly being recruited and exploited.
These are just a few reasons why TRUST was founded here.
It is time that all Arizonans stand against trafficking. Small business, big business - Sex Trafficking is everyone’s business. When the prostitution of children thrives, our entire community suffers. Read the entire overview with citations (PDF format).