Research and Reports

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research University of Pennsylvania

The Field Center completed a three-city study as part of a larger initiative by Covenant House International to research human trafficking among homeless youth that encompassed nearly 1,000 youth across 13 cities. The Field Center interviewed a total of 270 homeless youth, 100 in Phoenix, 100 in Philadelphia, and 70 in Washington, DC, to learn about the prevalence of human trafficking, and the history of child maltreatment, out of home placement, and protective factors among those who were sex trafficked or engaged in the sex trade to survive.


Arizona State University, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research

This report notes best practices, as well as, the gaps and challenges that are present while working with this difficult population of victims.

This report is a summary of 187 surveys collected from Arizona’s homeless and runaway youth ages 18 to 25 collected by four partnering organizations (UMOM, Our Family Services, Native American Connections and OneNTen). This study was funded by the McCain Institute for International Leadership, Our Family Services, UMOM, and the City of Tucson.

The findings from this study continue to drive our work to address sex trafficking in our communities with a third of the homeless runaway young adult participants reporting sex trafficking. This year we added questions about labor trafficking and found that 32% of the participants reported an experience of labor trafficking. The details of the lives that homeless young adults have experienced and face each day should encourage each of us to examine how we can serve this vulnerable group better.


Arizona State University, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research

Sex trafficking is a pervasive national problem in the United States. Media reports indicate that sex trafficking occurs in both rural and urban areas with victims who are children and adults, of any gender, race, and sexual orientation. Sex trafficking, defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act. For persons over the age of 18, the TVPA (2000) requires the demonstration that force, fraud, or coercion was used by the sex trafficker(s) to be considered a sex trafficking victim. Persons under the age of 18 (minors) are not required to demonstrate force, fraud, or coercion related to the commercial sex act to be considered a victim of sex trafficking.


Arizona State University, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research

Human trafficking is a crime in the United States and as such, is hidden from plain sight making the estimation of the size of the problem complex and rife with error. Tremendous pressure has been placed on the human trafficking research community to provide an estimate of the sex trafficking victims in the United States. The desire to have an estimate is driven by the desire to align resources with the number of victims needing services, because of the illicit nature of the crime and a lack of a systematic reporting mechanism, establishing a reliable and valid estimate has been unobtainable.


Modern Slavery Research Project, Loyola University New Orleans

Between February 2014 and June 2016, researchers from Loyola University New Orleans’s Modern Slavery Research Project (MSRP) were invited by Covenant House International and ten of their individual sites in the United States and Canada to serve as external experts to study the prevalence and nature of human trafficking among homeless youth aged 17 to 25.

MSRP researchers interviewed 641 homeless and runaway youth who access services through Covenant House’s network of shelters, transitional living and apartment programs, and drop-in centers. Youth were invited to participate, on a voluntary basis, in a point-in-time study about work experience. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using the Human Trafficking Interview and Assessment Measure (HTIAM-14) to assess whether youth had been trafficked for sex or labor in their lifetimes.



Arizona State University, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research

The Youth Experiences Survey (YES) has been given every year for the past three years to a complex and difficult population to assess. Homeless runaway young adults (ages 18 to 25) are difficult to find and can be difficult to engage. This survey is given to homeless young adults in both Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona through homeless youth-targeted service providers. The findings from the YES survey continue to provide insight into the challenges and needs of homeless young adults. Information from the YES survey provides data about the scope and complexity of their challenges including the sex trafficking experiences of these young people.


Arizona State University, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research

The purpose of this study is to capture the rate of occurrence of sex trafficking among juveniles involved in Arizona’s juvenile justice system. Also, recommendations were collected from juvenile probation officers and staff on how the Arizona juvenile probation system can best serve the sex trafficked juveniles on their caseloads. Once the incidence rate of sex trafficking victims among juveniles involved in the Arizona Juvenile Probation System (adjudicated and non-adjudicated) in Arizona was collected, recommendations for targeted services and systems changes were developed in partnership with the Arizona Administrative Office of the Court, which administers the Arizona Juvenile Probation system.


Arizona State University, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research

The Youth Experiences Survey (YES) has been given every year for the past three years to a complex and difficult population to assess. Homeless runaway young adults (ages 18 to 25) are difficult to find and can be difficult to engage. This survey is given to homeless young adults in both Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona through homeless youth-targeted service providers. The findings from the YES survey continue to provide insight into the challenges and needs of homeless young adults. Information from the YES survey provides data about the scope and complexity of their challenges including the sex trafficking experiences of these young people.


The Urban Institute
Northeastern University Justice Policy Center

This study examines the organization, operation, and victimization process of labor trafficking across multiple industries in the United States. It examines labor trafficking victim abuse and exploitation along a continuum, from victims’ recruitment for work in the United States; through their migration experiences (if any), employment victimization experiences, and efforts to seek help; to their ultimate escape and receipt of services. Data for this study came from a sample of 122 closed labor trafficking victim service records from service providers in four US cities. In addition, interviews were conducted with labor trafficking survivors, local and federal law enforcement officials, legal advocates, and service providers in each site to better understand the labor trafficking victimization experience, the networks involved in labor trafficking and the escape and removal process, and the barriers to investigation and prosecution of labor trafficking cases.



Beazley Institute For Health Law And Policy
Loyola University Chicago School Of Law

This paper explores the health consequences and healthcare experiences of women and girls trafficked in the United States for commercial sex. The paper is based on an original study of over one hundred domestic sex trafficking victims and survivors. It provides evidence that women and children who are trafficked into prostitution are physically, mentally, and emotionally devastated by the crime, and this devastation is lasting


The Urban Institute
Northeastern University Justice Policy Center

Utilizing a multi-method approach to understand the challenges local and state officials face investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases, this study helps us identify and recommend strategies to overcome barriers to local investigation and prosecution of human trafficking. This study includes a systematic review of human trafficking case records in a targeted sample of counties across the U.S. Cases were coded to identify key factors related to identification, classification, investigation, arrests, charging decisions, victim participation and case outcomes. Additionally basic demographic information on offenders and victims was recorded.



The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research University of Pennsylvania

The Field Center recently completed a 3-city study.



Shared Hope International

This report notes best practices, as well as, the gaps and challenges that are present while working with this difficult population of victims.

The goal of this assessment is to provide Arizona first responders and community members with information to advocate for improvements in the identification and proper response to DMST victims. This assessment will be provided to all stakeholders to inform the identification of victims and to help bring them services offered in accordance with the TVPA and its reauthorizations. This research offers qualitative data on the DMST issue in Arizona; additional research to quantify the scope of the problem would support upcoming action in Arizona.


Shared Hope International

This paper evaluates the fundamental importance of defining sex trafficking to include all instances of commercial sexual exploitation of minors.

Beyond the question of whether force, fraud or coercion was used by the offender, this discussion addresses the impact of requiring that a third party, in particular a trafficker, has caused a minor victim to engage in commercial sexual activity in order for a minor to be recognized as a sex trafficking victim.


Ian Urbina - The New York Times

While forced labor exists throughout the world, nowhere is the problem more pronounced than here in the South China Sea, especially in the Thai fishing fleet, which faces an annual shortage of about 50,000 mariners, based on United Nations estimates.

The shortfall is primarily filled by using migrants, mostly from Cambodia and Myanmar. Many of them are lured across the border by traffickers only to become so-called sea slaves in floating labor camps.


Shared Hope International

In 2014, Shared Hope International conducted a research project on the subject of demand for sex with minors.

The study consisted of a desk review followed by quantitative research in four geographic areas, including Maricopa County in Arizona, of instances where buyers were identified.


Andy Hall, Southern Arizona Against Slavery

Almost 15 years after Congress passed the first contemporary anti-slavery legislation, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, state anti-trafficking law and policy still lag far behind their federal counterparts in terms of prosecuting traffickers, protecting victims, and preventing trafficking. Regrettably, Arizona provides an ample case study in these inadequacies, from its prosecution of sex trafficking victims for prostitution to its inadequate victim assistance mechanisms.

This Note maintains that the war on human trafficking will be won or lost at the state level. After a detailed analysis of federal and state law and policy, this Note argues that the Uniform Law Commission’s new Uniform Act on Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking provides states with a solid blueprint for comprehensive anti-trafficking reform.

States should adopt the Uniform Act in its entirety, without delay, because nobody should be enslaved in the Land of the Free.


Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, MSW, Ph.D., Kristen Bracy, MA, Commander James Gallager, MAdim, and Michael Cimino

With proper training, Probation Officers can begin to identify victims and help them receive the services needed to exit the life of prostitution.


James Queally, Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2015

Law enforcement agencies in 17 states arrested nearly 600 people and rescued 68 victims of human trafficking during a sting in the lead-up to Super Bowl XLIX.

As part of the "National Day of Johns" sex trafficking sting, spearheaded by the Cook County, Ill., Sheriff's Office, police said that they captured hundreds of men and women attempting to hire prostitutes through websites such as Backpage.com and Craigslist. Police also said they rescued dozens of women who said they had been forced into prostitution.


Shared Hope International

The Arizona's Not Buying It Campaign brings the state's most recognized voices to commit to fighting child sex trafficking. Initiated by the Arizona Office of the Attorney General, in partnership with Shared Hope International, the campaign aims to raise awareness of sex trafficking and support efforts to combat demand for victims by sponsoring Public Service Announcements in Phoenix theaters and television stations.


Megan Cassidy, The Republic, October 2, 2014

In the past several years, a growing number of Arizona police agencies have operated on an understanding that women and girls who are paid for sex are victims of sex trafficking rather than accomplices of the men who buy and sell them.


Marissa Roper, Downtown Devil, January 23, 2015

Phoenix City Council voted to change the booking procedures for human trafficking suspects and adjustments to the city’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

The changes amended Phoenix City Code to include an “educational component” for suspects sentenced for soliciting or hiring a prostitute. The changes also called for the city to develop a policy for mandatory booking for all individuals arrested under this ordinance.


Arizona State University, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research
Tumbleweed Youth Services
Our Family, Tucson, Arizona
One•n•ten, Phoenix, Arizona

This study investigated the prevalence of sex trafficking experiences among homeless young adults ages 18-25 years old who received services from homeless programs in Arizona during July 2014.

Findings revealed 25.6% of the participants reported a history of sex trafficking, 21.8% of the male participants and 24.5% of the female participants. LGBTQ young adults were significantly more likely to report sex trafficking experiences (33, 38.4%) than heterosexual young adults (23, 19.7%)


Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council of the National Academies

The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council studied child sex trafficking as they affect U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States under age 18.

The IOM/NRC report offers recommendations concerning strategies for responding to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States, new legislative approaches, and a research agenda.

The report concludes that efforts to prevent, identify, and respond to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States require better collaborative approaches. These efforts need to confront demand and the individuals who commit and benefit from these crimes.

The recommendations in the report have the potential to advance and strengthen the nation’s emerging efforts to prevent, identify, and respond to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors.

For more information on this report visit The National Academies Press.


Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Demand Abolition Chair

This article explains how focusing on sex purchasers eradicates the problematic distinction between sex trafficking and prostitution.

Further, it lays out ethical, social, legal, medical, relational, and personal reasons that the illegal sex industry is incompatible with basic values of human dignity, gender equality, and fundamental care for others.


Laura Simich

This brief summarizes the research’s essential findings and policy implications and presents ideas for putting the screening tool into practice.

This tool will give legal, health care and social service providers, law enforcement, and other professionals the ability to bring trafficking victims out of the shadows and improve their legal and social outcomes.


American Bar Association, the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University (ASU), and the ASU School of Politics and Global Studies

The report presents the first ever analysis of major companies’ publicly available policies on human trafficking, forced labor and the trade in conflict minerals.

 

 

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