Sex traffickers are exposed to higher risk of offending: study

Statue of justice.

A tailor-made approach is needed to prevent youngsters from sexually exploiting others and getting involved in people trafficking, the national rapporteur on human trafficking said on Wednesday in a new report.

The report, which looked at 630 sex traffickers, found that 52% were under the age of 25 and that 24% re-offended after being caught. They are also more likely than two control groups to have family or friends who are involved in crime and to have dropped out of school.

Almost nine in 10 of the sex traffickers had at least one criminal sibling or (ex)partner compared to 64% of other criminals and 24% of the non-criminal control group.

Just 30% left school with a diploma, compared to 62% and 89% of the criminal and non-criminal control groups respectively.

“We see that those involved in sexual exploitation score very highly in risk factors and that factors that might protect them barely figure,” rapporteur Conny Rijken said. “This is very different to other forms of crime.”

Such youngsters also commit other types of crime, which confirms the need for better efforts to prevent re-offending in general, she said.

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