Boys and Men: The Often-Overlooked Victims of Transnational Sex Trafficking

Michael Pittaro, PhD | September 19 | 9:00-10:00 AM

Topic: Direct Service | Knowledge Level: Beginner, Intermediate | Location: TBD

Transnational human trafficking is conservatively estimated to be a $32 billion-dollar a year criminal operation (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2012), which transcends throughout every region of the modern world. Human trafficking consists of a number of subcategories, the most familiar and likely the most profitable of which is sex trafficking. Of the nearly 21 million victims worldwide, the majority consist of women and girls; however, an estimated 2% (400,000) of those victims are boys and men (Human Trafficking Center). Since boys and men represent a mere 2% of worldwide victims, the laws, programs, policies, and media coverage to date have focused, almost exclusively, on female sex trafficking victims. By ignoring this growing subpopulation of sex trafficking victims, we have essentially overlooked and abandoned tens of thousands of victims. The well-intentioned, but in this case, misinformed, anti-sex trafficking professionals must stop perpetuating images of the stereotypical young, often foreign, female victim throughout mainstream media, because this only exacerbates and worsens the plight of the overlooked male victims. Boys and men of transnational sex trafficking deserve equal attention. This session offers particularly important information for public safety professionals and community stakeholders who have a stake in combatting transnational sex trafficking operations. By providing awareness and correcting false perceptions, we can, as a collective community of anti-trafficking professionals, work toward eradicating the world of sex trafficking for all victims. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how prevention and intervention strategies can be implemented from a gender-neutral perspective.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Explain the role of boys and men, as victims, in global sex trafficking

·  Discuss how anti-trafficking laws, programs, and policies can be amended to reflect boys and men as victims

·  Describe evidence-based prevention and intervention programs that have been effective with male victims

·  Explain how public safety professionals (aka - first responders) can identify and assist male sex trafficking victims

About the Presenter