Protect runaway and homeless youth -

Protect runaway and homeless youth

Make your voice heard

Share this petition

An estimated 700,000 children experience homelessness over a single year in the U.S. 1 Survivor-advocate Marnie Grundman explains in her video that these vulnerable children can be trafficked into forced labor or the commercial sex industry in exchange for basic necessities, like food and shelter.

Nearly one in five homeless youth have been a victim of human trafficking, according to a report from an international network of homeless youth service providers.2 As Marnie says, these children are in hiding and “invisible,” so this exploitation goes unnoticed.

Traffickers target homeless youth, because they are low risk and easy to control. 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.

You can help protect them. Congress has the power to help prevent child labor and sex trafficking by passing a law like the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act to provide services and support at that crucial moment to intervene before a child is trafficked and to help them escape exploitative situations.

We need your help. Call on Congress to protect children from human trafficking.

“We ended up working seven days a week, twelve to fourteen hours a day. And we never got paid. As a result, we had no money, no place to go, and we were completely dependent on the people that hired us,” Marnie Grundman.

Join us in asking Congress to pass a law to guarantee anti-trafficking services.

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA) (H.R. 8948/S. 4916) would update and reauthorize current programs, guaranteeing funding.

We won’t give up. We must raise our voice together for vulnerable youth.

Introducing such a critical piece of legislation is the first step as it would mean service providers focus on human trafficking and exploitation more broadly across programs, ensuring that less children in the United States fall prey to 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 trafficking?

Sign the petition and call your Representative and Senators through the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

  • COVID -19 Update: Homeless shelters across the nation are closing to stop the spread of the virus. Many of the shelters that do remain open are at capacity and cannot accept new intakes. America’s runaway and homeless youth face an unprecedented trafficking risk due to closures during the pandemic.

  • September 21, 2022: The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act 2022 (S.R. 4916/H.R. 8498) was introduced in the 117th Congress by Senator Patrick Leahy. This Act makes critical updates to the existing Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program including addressing the needs of youth experiencing homelessness and youth survivors of trafficking.

  • January 3, 2021: The 116th Congress ended without a vote on the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (S.R. 2916/H.R. 5191).

  • January 14, 2020: The U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor passed the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (H.R. 5191). This is a critical step to ensuring that more young people experiencing homelessness have a safe place to call home and are able to avoid being trafficked for sex, labor, or both.

  • Jul 30, 2013: Campaign Launches

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

Charge the pimp with everything possible. Then charge the “john” with at least statutory rape and indecency with a child. If you can eliminate the demand, there will be no reason for the traffickers to stay in businesses.

6 years ago

How didn’t it secure enough votes? I’m curious how anyone would go against such a program as it can only benefit these vulnerable children.

6 years ago

Something often overlooked with regards to foster youth st risk of commercial sexual exploitation are their own legislated personal rights. With CSEC youth in particular a youths right to their cell phone and private conversations can create a situation that works against their own best interests. Often CSEC youth need to be protected from themselves in order to protect them from their pimps.

6 years ago

I want CAPITAL PUNISHMENT to be what is metted out for human trafficking and for those who force sexual slavery onto others ( pimps).

Thomas Keys
Thomas Keys
6 years ago

It’s a sad day when the public doesn’t protect its children. It’s time Congress ratifies the Child Bill of Rights and add Child Sexual Abuse. The maybe this abuse of children will be declared “ A Crime Against Humanity”. In the United States if no where else!

Call on Congress to prevent child trafficking


Help us reach 50,000

All of America’s children deserve safety and protection, yet runaway and homeless children and youth are at high risk of human trafficking. Traffickers target homeless children and youth because they are low risk and easy to control.

Because of vulnerability and inadequate support, homeless and runaway children and youth are susceptible to human trafficking, often being forced into exploitative labor or sex to receive basic necessities.

Legislation like the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2022 (RHYTPA) (H.R. 8498/S. 4916) would improve prevention efforts, raise visibility, and provide life-saving services for these vulnerable children and youth. We are calling on you to introduce then pass the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act now.

Freedom United will protect your privacy while updating you on campaigns, news and stories about modern slavery.

Latest activity
  • Latest activity
    Eugenia L.
  • Latest activity
    Acadia C.
  • Latest activity
    Taylor D.
Campaign partners