Protect runaway and homeless youth -

Protect runaway and homeless youth

Image: Sleep Out Movement

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.

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11 Comments on "Protect runaway and homeless youth"

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Let’s work together and get this passed. This can only be beneficial to these vulnerable children.


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.


Heartless republicans

Thomas Murphy

The people who victimize them are G@d Awful! First they chant you out of your mind and make you incoherent. And then right there they are waiting for you by the bus stop to lure you in with some religious propaganda, wanting you to come with them. Make no mistake about this, this is Satan living and walking among us that does this. There should be a death penalty for pimping! No if’s ands or or’s about it!


Wow. Some believe in capitsl punishment besides me. I was wondering if my post would get kicked out.

Lagos Vas

do these rich and wealthy Politicians do something against criminals who are targeting homeless children and young women. forcing them to prostitution or work slavery??

linda mcpherson

NO ONE CARES!I find no one who does!


Well. .. There’s more and more evidence showing that they are more likely to be found among the clients of this disgusting and despicable “business” than in the ranks of those seeking to stop this infamy.

Conservative Senior

I’ve lost faith in our “Congress”. It wouldn’t surprise me if many of them are making money off this degradation.

Thomas Keys

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!

Susan Courtney

Or using their services!


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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Our partners in this campaign:

Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking

The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) is a U.S. based coalition that advocates for solutions to prevent and end all forms of human trafficking and modern slavery around the world. They advocate for lasting solutions to prevent labor and sex trafficking, hold perpetrators accountable, ensure justice for victims and empower survivors with tools for recovery.

National Network for Youth NN4Y

The National Network for Youth (NN4Y) has been a public education and policy advocacy organization dedicated to the prevention and eradication of youth homelessness in America for over 40 years. As the largest and most diverse network of its kind, NN4Y mobilizes over 300 members and affiliates –organizations that work on the front lines every day to provide prevention services and respond to runaways and youth experiencing homelessness and human trafficking.

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