Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $175,496)
The Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) at Georgetown University in collaboration with the Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is proposing a one-year research project to: 1) examine patterns of abuse of child victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation; 2) analyze the challenges service providers face in assisting them; and 3) identify best practices and treatment modalities used to facilitate rehabilitation of child victims of trafficking. The project will be based on two primary data sources: 1) ethnographic interviews with child survivors of trafficking for sexual exploitation selected from among children currently in care (N=63 at time of writing) in the United States; and 2) key informant interviews with service providers in the USCCB and LIRS refugee foster care and unaccompanied minors (URM) programs serving child victims of trafficking. By analyzing patterns of victimization before emancipation as well as post-emancipation experiences of child trafficking survivors within the U.S. federal system of care, this project will expand the knowledge base of the special service needs of child victims of trafficking, inform the understanding of repeat victimization of trafficked children and take steps to prevent it in the future. The products will include interim and final reports submitted to the National Institute of Justice.
This population was identified for study since the overwhelming majority of victims of severe forms of trafficking are women and children. The particular vulnerability of child victims, related to bio-physiological, social, behavioral, and cognitive phases of the maturation process, distinguishes them from adult victims and underscores the necessity of special attention to their particular needs and potential for re-victimization.
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