Many people think human trafficking only happens in other countries. However, this modern-day form of slavery is increasingly an American problem.
This fall, the Federal Bureau of Investigation rescued more than 50 children from prostitution in raids across the U.S. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Child prostitution is a problem the FBI says is getting worse.
"The money involved in prostituting children is much higher than just regular prostitution," said FBI agent John Gillies.
Morgan Perry is the executive producer of the recently-released documentary entitled Sex and Money. Click here to learn more about the effort.
"The average age of entry for a prostitute in the United States is 12-years-old, 12 to 13," she explained. "So we're looking anywhere from 11 to 17- years-old.
Every once in a while, the public hears about human trafficking in the U.S., like the raids that took place in October in 36 cities. Nearly 1,600 agents and officers worked together to bring federal and state charges against 691 suspects.
According to the Children at Risk website, globally around 800,000 people are trafficked each year and become victims of commercial sex exploitation and forced labor. Eighty percent of these victims are women and children.
Many people are surprised to hear that human trafficking is such a big problem in the United States. Earlier this year, CBN News told you about a group of Christian filmmakers who were setting out on a mission to expose the untold story of American sex slavery.
Their documentary effort, "Sex and Money" is well underway.
"We were shocked to discover that the same injustice was happening in our own backyards," the documentary's narrator explained. "Across America, thousands of children are bought and sold for sex each day. Meanwhile, most Americans are completely oblivious to this form of modern- day slavery."
Perry gave CBN News an update on the documentary's production.
"We've definitely found that it's a greater problem than what we were expecting," she said. "We've had a hard time solidifying statistics at first, because research in the United States is not as collected as international statistics so we have found that 100,000 to 300,000 American children are sex slaves in the United States, and that's a very big statistic for us, so that's hit home."
The FBI says pimps are advertising more on social networking sites, including Facebook and MySpace, to attract the children.
"The Internet's being used widely now for juvenile prostitution," said one undercover police officer. "The girls of you know, the pimps, the handlers have now taken it off the street where it can be seen and have now concealed it on the Internet."
Perry says in her research she's learned the greatest barriers to stopping human trafficking are public awareness and resources.
"People need to know what it looks like in the United States, and they definitely need to know where they can help and how they can get involved," she told CBN News.
Perry's team hopes their documentary will draw attention to this huge problem and lead to the rescue of children.