Sexual Trafficking; Foster children; human rights; design thinking


Liberal Studies


This research paper explores the need for comprehensive prevention methods related to the issue of sexual exploitation and trafficking of minors in the state of Michigan. Scholarly work conducted by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council (2013) supports that, overall, there is an inadequate amount of empirical data concerning this issue. Inadequate empirical evidence consequently results in a lack of overall success in preventing sex trafficking among minors. In addition, a report from the Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking (2013) also identifies this problem, while offering alternative ideas surrounding prevention, through collaborative efforts. A human-rights based approach to prevention is also analyzed, based on Duger (2015). Underlying issues of childhood poverty and abuse in Michigan are addressed, in order to understand the importance of an integrated solution to the prevention of sex trafficking among minors. Lastly, a design-thinking method was used to prototype possible solutions, concluding that a high school peer support group, facilitated by staff, would be an effective solution in preventing the exploitation of minors.