Report Labels Las Vegas a Hub of Child Sexual Trafficking

LAS VEGAS (AP) - More than 400 children were found working as
prostitutes in Las Vegas during a single month last year.

That's according to a national report that calls the city a hubfor child sex trafficking.

The study by Shared Hope International, based in Vancouver, Washington, cites what it calls "high-risk conditions of Las Vegas" for a problem it dubs "domestic minor sex trafficking."

Officials refer to easy access to alcohol and drugs, 24-hour gambling, and a "hyper-sexualized entertainment industry"

The work was underwritten by the U.S. Department of Justice.

It also finds the region has inadequate services to help those it calls victims of the sex trade.

Besides one organization identifying over 400 prostituted children on the streets in May 2007, the report said a group called Stop Turning Out Child Prostitutes found 1,500 minors faced prostitution-related charges in the area since 1994.

Las Vegas was one of 10 U.S. locations for which the agency completed reports.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)