Anti-child trafficking policy and programs have relied heavily on the criminal justice system, but a new book advocates for using public health methodologies to forge a more comprehensive response to the problem.

Child trafficking is pervasive. Although people may perceive the issue to exist only in other countries, it is a significant issue in the United States.

Jonathan Todres, a law professor at Georgia State University, and Angela Diaz, director of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, say they wrote Preventing Child Trafficking: A Public Health Approach (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) with four aims:

Help bring public health methodologies into mainstream discourse.
Highlight the role that the health care system can play in responding to child trafficking.
Spur the development of best practices for addressing child trafficking and other forms of child exploitation.
Offer a starting point for other sectors to think about how they can prevent trafficking.

Here, Todres explains why prevention, not punishment, is the best way to protect children around the world:

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