Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


The sexual exploitation of children is detrimental to the physical and emotional health and development of the children and undermines the development and growth of nations. Since 1989 the international community has taken serious legislative steps to attempt to eliminate child sex trafficking. However, despite nearly universal ratification of international conventions on the topic, the sexual exploitation of children continues. The literature that addresses regime compliance suggests two general explanations for the lack of follow-through among signatory countries: a lack of capacity (both political and economic) and cultural proximity. This paper will examine the validity of each of these categories through analysis of data across sixty-seven countries drawn from diverse regions. This study finds that political capacity, followed by economic capacity, better accounts for compliance with child sex trafficking conventions than measures of cultural proximity.