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Trafficked Children and Youth in the United States: Reimagining Survivors

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2016
194 pages
This book reports on the author’s research with 140 trafficked children living in the United States, most of them girls, from countries around the world, documenting their captivity, rescue, and rehabilitation.
The study determined that none of these trafficked children were kidnapped or physically forced to accompany their traffickers. In many cases, parents or smugglers paid by family members brought these children to the United States. All of the girls and boys in the study believed they were coming to America to find employment or educational opportunities. The study examined the experiences of these children from the time they were trafficked to the United States to their years as young adults. The focus is on their perspectives as they attempted to get jobs, learn English, develop friendships, and find love. Their perspectives on their needs are contrasted with how they were viewed by child welfare staff. While the trafficked children were concerned about practical survival techniques, child welfare agencies focused on their vulnerability and pathology. The author concludes that the agency and institutional services provided these trafficked children were based on a one-size-fits-all trauma-based model that ignores the diversity of their experiences, concerns, and needs.

Date Published: April 1, 2016