Illicit Trade Networks Feed Human Trafficking, Officials Say

By Ellaine Mallon

Originally posted on

USA-IT partners discuss the convergence of illegal trade and human trafficking.


“As a co-founder of the non-profit Awaken — an organization dedicated to assisting women and children victimized by sexual exploitation in Reno, Nev., Melissa Holland said legal prostitution enables the problem of the illicit trade. ‘We’re a sex tourism state,’ Holland told the USA-IT roundtable. ‘Traffickers actually love that there’s legalized prostitution in Nevada, and they find out that the laws have already done half the work of grooming for them.’”

Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association:

“There was an uptick in sex trafficking activity during the last time Phoenix hosted the Superbowl in 2015, said Kim Grace Sabow, president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. ‘These bad actors are attracted to great destinations, mega-events, and these bad actors are just following the money,’ Sabow said.”

Read more here.