Debunking Statistics: Number of Children who are Sexually Exploited

Here we look at a couple other statistics that have been debunked by Fact Checker.

The first is: “In the U.S., some 300,000 children are at risk each year for commercial sexual exploitation.” and “There are upwards, according to the Justice Department, of 300,000, mostly young girls, at risk for this.”

This number comes from a report by Richard J. Estes and Neil Weiner, written in 2001.  However, the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire came out with another report stating “PLEASE DO NOT CITE THESE NUMBERS”, referring to Estes and Weiner’s estimate. Estes and Weiner’s report contained many problems and was outdated. When it comes to statistics one has to be cautious as, the Justice Department’s sponsored report stated, “No reliable national estimate exists of the incidence or prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States”.

Fact Checker: 300,000 Children Claim

The next statistic states: “At least 100,000 children in the U.S. are commercially sexually exploited.”

This statistic was stated by Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2010. Allen used the 300,000 figure that we just debunked and estimated that 150,000 of these were runaways, thrown-away or homeless children, all between the ages of 10 and 17. He said that he rounded down to 100,000 to make it sound like a more conservative number. Allen stated that he wanted to come up with a specific figure because “with any social issue, if you can’t quantify it, it must not be a problem in the view of policymakers”. Whether that statement hold truth or not, it still does not mean statistics should be fabricated.

Fact Checker Article: 100,000 Children

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