Vanessa Fernandez

Mentor: Dr. Suzanna Smith
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
"I got involved in this research after reading about the on going epidemic of child prostitution and wanting to investigate about why this is still ongoing and what factors contribute to this. This research will ultimately expand my knowledge of laws on an international spectrum and what contributes to the effectiveness of these laws."


Family Youth and Community Sciences, Criminology



Research Interests

  • International Policy
  • Steps to Eradicating Child Prostitution
  • Effectiveness of Sanctions in Deterring Prostitution in Policies

Academic Awards

  • Bright Futures Medallion Scholarship August 2013-Present
  • College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean's List Spring 2015, Summer 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Spring 2015, Summer 2015, Fall 2015


  • Pre-Legal Honor Society
  • FYCS Club


  • Center for Leadership Mentor
  • Humane Society
  • Girls Place, Inc.

Hobbies and Interests

  • Graphic Design
  • Baking/Cooking
  • Crafting
  • Reading

Research Description

A Comparison of Child Sex Prostitution Policies and Laws and Rates of Child Sex Trafficking in Selected Countries
Even though research has been conducted on the topic of child sex trafficking, there is very little research-based information on guidelines for effectively challenging this urgent problem. An in depth analysis of policies regarding child prostitution will be conducted including the number and nature of these policies and laws (or absence). Existing laws will be analyzed further to find what sanctions are in place for perpetrators. These laws will be analyzed while considering each countries rate of child prostitution. This information will be used in a discussion comparing the findings from Thailand, Zambia, and Taiwan to the findings from Russia, China, and Indonesia, particularly how the risk factors and policies of countries impact the rate of prostitution for each country. This research will make it possible to see the gap in progressive action to limit or eradicate child prostitution.