Breaking Barriers: Improving Services for LGBTQ Human Trafficking Victims

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Date Published: 
June, 2015

Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ) may be disproportionately affected by human trafficking. They face higher rates of discrimination and homelessness, making them especially vulnerable to traffickers.

When LGBTQ trafficking victims seek services or go through the criminal justice system they are often penalized for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Even when community members and service providers do want to help, they frequently lack the training needed to recognize trafficking or how to effectively and compassionately assist LGBTQ youth.

Breaking Barriers: Improving Services for LGBTQ Human Trafficking Victims, made possible through the generous support of the Palette Fund, provides valuable recommendations to service providers and criminal justice professionals, so that they may be better equipped to provide the specialized services and resources needed by LGBTQ trafficking victims and survivors.

If the basic needs of LGBTQ youth continue to go unmet, these young people face a greater risk of returning to their trafficking situations. Details as small as the type of deodorant or recreation options offered to an individual can make the difference in recovery.

You can also watch an accompanying webinar that summarizes the report and provides best practices for service providers serving the LGBTQ community.