Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ+) often face discrimination and homelessness – two factors that make them especially vulnerable to traffickers.
When they manage to break free of trafficking situations, they often still face substantial barriers including lack of appropriate social services and discrimination within the criminal justice system. Even when community members and service providers 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.
Effective support and services are vital to reducing trafficking. 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.