Protect runaway and homeless youth - FreedomUnited.org
Campaign Update:

March 2018: On Monday March 19, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA) was introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy, Susan Collins and Heidi Heitkamp followed by Representatives John Yarmouth, Dave Reichert and Jeff Denham. Reauthorizing the RHYTPA will better protect runaway and homeless youth in the U.S and ensure their access to life-saving services, and we will continue to campaign to push for its swift passage.

Protect runaway and homeless youth

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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.1

A new study released in November 2017 estimates that 700,000 children between 13 and 17 years old and a shocking 3.5 million youth aged between 18-25 experienced homelessness over one year in the United States of America.2 Because of their vulnerability and inadequate support, they often go unnoticed, quietly trafficked into forced labor or the commercial sex industry.

Congress has the power to help prevent child trafficking. Introducing, then passing the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA) will be a step toward improving services and protections for homeless youth and children either experiencing or at high-risk of trafficking and exploitation.

This Act would provide important updates to 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. We won’t give up. We must raise our voice together for vulnerable youth.

Traffickers target homeless children and youth because they are low risk and easy to manipulate, making them easily susceptible to human trafficking, often being exploited through sex and labor to receive basic necessities.3

Thirty-six per cent of all labor trafficking and almost half of all sex trafficking cases reported in the United States in 2016 involved victims whose exploitation began when they were only children, between the ages of 12 and 174 but there are likely many other cases that go unreported. Covenant House International, an international network of providers of services to homeless youth, found that nearly one in five homeless youth had been a victim of human trafficking – inclusive of sex and labor trafficking or both.5

The RHYTPA will help end this by improving prevention efforts, raises visibility, and ensures life-saving services for these vulnerable children and youth, making safety and protection a more accessible reality.

Introducing this critical piece of legislation is the first step as it would mean service providers focus on 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.

  • March 2018: On Monday March 19, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA) was introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy, Susan Collins and Heidi Heitkamp followed by Representatives John Yarmouth, Dave Reichert and Jeff Denham. Reauthorizing the RHYTPA will better protect runaway and homeless youth in the U.S and ensure their access to life-saving services, and we will continue to campaign to push for its swift passage.

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32 Comments on "Protect runaway and homeless youth"

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Paulette Harvey
Guest

700,000 Children and young teens per year sleep rough in the USA the supposedly richest Country in the world, even if 10 % fall into slavery that makes horrible reading but in truth it’s more than likely 80% , and remember most of these are “off the grid” without the family structures in place to keep them safe

I am APPALLED at this statistic in a supposedly modern country.

Gitte Nielsen
Guest

It is important to tell children that there are help if they can’t live at home. Once they run away they are vulnerable and are being exploited.

nauman
Guest

Dear participants may i ask you a question that a rose which is only beaten but what did you you say about the a horrible incident of drone attack into the afghanistan with the red handed American Army on more then hundred inocent childrens?
i apriciate your comments of humanity please.

Tree Kuberski
Guest

We are certainly able to focus on more than one thing at a time. If we’re able to prevent a child from being beaten, tortured and raped we need to do that as well as confront what terrible things our military is doing in foreign lands. One thing does not occlude the other.

Marie Seltenrych
Guest

This is a shameful record for a great country.

Ruth Bacchus
Guest

It is disgraceful that this is allowed to occur

Call on Congress to prevent child trafficking

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To the United States Congress:

All of America’s children deserve safety and protection, yet runaway and homeless children and youth face extreme vulnerabilities to human trafficking and exploitation. Traffickers target homeless children and youth because they are low risk and easy to manipulate. 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.

We are calling on you to introduce then pass the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act.

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Trafficking Prevention Act improves prevention efforts, raises visibility, and provides life-saving services for these vulnerable children and youth, making safety and protection a more accessible reality. With an estimated 4.2 million children and youth experiencing homelessness each year in the United States, the time to introduce the Runaway and Homeless Youth Trafficking Prevention Act is now.

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