As is true for any hidden illegal activity, determining the number of girls being prostituted in Minnesota is nearly impossible. But a growing body of research is emerging that provides an early but critical sketch of what’s happening in our state.

(Sept. 2014) “Mapping the Market for Sex with Trafficked Minor Girls in Minneapolis: Structure, Functions, and Patterns” >>Read press release  >>View/download full report and executive summary at UROC  >>Listen to MPR’s The Daily Circuit interview (9/15)  >>Read Star Tribune article

Early Intervention to Avoid Sex Trading and Trafficking of Minnesota’s Female Youth: A Benefit-Cost Analysis” (full report), Lauren Martin, PhD, Director of Research, Urban Research Outreach-Engagement Center, University of Minnesota; Richard Lotspeich, PhD, Professor, Department of Economics, Indiana State University; Lauren Stark, Research Assistant, Urban Research Outreach-Engagement Center, University of Minnesota. (Exec Summary)

Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota,” Melissa Farley, Nicole Matthews, Sarah Deer, Guadalupe Lopez, Christine Stark and Eileen Hudon, a project of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition and Prostitution Research & Education, October 2011.

The prostitution project: Community-based research on sex trading in north Minneapolis.”  Lauren Martin, PhD. CURA Reporter, Fall-Winter 2010.

Adolescent Girls in the Minnesota Sex Trade – From February to November 2010, The Schapiro Group conducted studies to quantify the scope of the commercial sexual exploitation (prostitution/sex trafficking) of adolescent females in Minnesota. There were a total of four counts – Feb., May, Aug., and Nov. 2010.

  • The study was designed to count adolescent girls using scientific probability methods when they were encountered through two sources: Internet and escort services.
  • This research methodology counted, over a one-month period during four different months in 2010 (Feb., May, Aug., and Nov. 2010), the number of adolescent females who were sexually exploited and actively marketed within the local sex trade.
  • The results from the final Shapiro count in November 2010 study showed that on any given weekend night in Minnesota, an estimated 45 girls under age 18 were sexually trafficked (prostituted) via Internet classified websites and escort services.
  • See the Schapiro report.

Shattered Hearts: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of American Indian Women And Girls,” Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, November 2009. Summary report.

Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment for the State of Minnesota,” Executive Summary, Angela Bortel, Mary Ellingen, Mary C. Ellison, Robin Phillips, and Cheryl Thomas; The Advocates for Human Rights – Minneapolis, October 2008.

National reports on sex trafficking.

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States, Institute of Medicine, September 25, 2013.

National Colloquium 2012 Final Report: An Inventory and Evaluation of the Current Shelter and Services Response to Domestic Minor Sex TraffickingShared Hope International, May 2013. Executive Summary.

2012 Domestic Sex Trafficking in Ohio Report,” Ohio Human Trafficking Commission, Celia Williamson, PhD., Tasha Perdue, MSW, August 2012.

Enslaved in America: Sex Trafficking in the United States,” Tina Frundt, Women’s Funding Network.

The John Next Door,” Newsweek, Leslie Bennetts, July 17, 2011.

Comparing Sex Buyers with Men Who Don’t Buy Sex: ‘You can have a good time with the servitude’ vs. ‘You’re supporting a system of degradation,” Melissa Farley, Emily Schuckman, Jacqueline M. Golding, Kristen Houser, Laura Jarrett, Peter Qualliotine, Michele Decker. Paper presented at Psychologists for Social Responsibility Annual Meeting, July 15, 2011, Boston.

Selling the Girl Next Door,” Amber Lyon reports on CNN, January 20, 2011

Trafficked Teen Girls Describe Life in the Game,” National Public Radio, Youth Radio, December 6, 2010.

Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2008-2010,” Duren Banks and Tracey Kyckelhahn, U.S. Department of Justice

Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. and International Response,” Francis T. Miko, Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division, July 2006.

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children In the U. S., Canada and Mexico,” Richard J. Estes and Neil Weiner, University of Pennsylvania, February 2002.


Girls Like Us,” Rachel Lloyd, 2011

Somebody’s Daughter: The Hidden Story of America’s Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them,” Julian Sher, 2011