Almost half of all U.S. sex trafficking cases reported in 2016 involved victims whose exploitation began when they were only children.1 But we can help end this by improving prevention efforts, raising visibility, and ensuring life-saving services for some of the most vulnerable, at-risk children in America.
An estimated 700,00 children experienced homelessness over a single year in the U.S., according to a 2017 study.2 Traffickers target homeless youth, because they are low risk and easy to control. These vulnerable children are exploited in exchange for basic necessities, like food and shelter.
Nearly one in five homeless youth have been a victim of human sex trafficking, according to a report from an international network of homeless youth service providers.3 Because of their vulnerability and inadequate support, this exploitation often goes unnoticed.
But you can help protect them. Congress has the power to help prevent child sex trafficking, by passing the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA). The RHYTPA will improve services and protections for children experiencing or at high-risk of trafficking and exploitation.
We need your help. Call on Congress to protect children from human sex trafficking.
For six months, Rose was beaten and forced to sell her body on the street. Her pimp kept her under 24-hour surveillance and deprived her of food and vital medicine.4 With your help, we can demand Congress do more to protect children and teens like Rose from this brutal exploitation.
Join us in asking Congress to pass the RHTYPA.
This law would update and reauthorize current Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs, which expired in 2013. RHYTPA was introduced in the 114th Congress and the Senate in 2015 but the session concluded before it was considered despite our campaigning efforts. That year it was also proposed as an amendment to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act but failed to secure enough votes to proceed. In March 2018, RHYTPA was introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy, Susan Collins and Heidi Heitkamp followed by Representatives John Yarmouth, Dave Reichert and Jeff Denham.
We won’t give up. We must raise our voice together for vulnerable youth.
Introducing this critical piece of legislation is the first step as it would mean service providers focus on sex trafficking and exploitation more broadly across programs, ensuring that less children in the United States fall prey to sex traffickers.
We need your help to call for these essential services for America’s most vulnerable children and youth.
Will you join us calling on Congress to help prevent child sex trafficking?
Sign the petition and call your Representative and Senators through the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
- https://polarisproject.org/resources/2016-hotline-statistics ↩
- http://voicesofyouthcount.org/brief/national-estimates-of-youth-homelessness/ ↩
- https://www.covenanthouse.org/charity-blog/blog-news/largest-ever-research-studies-find-one-fifth-surveyed-homeless-youth-united ↩
- https://www.covenanthouse.org/homeless-issues/homeless-children-stories/rose ↩