Human Trafficking 101 Just Doesn’t Cut It: Awareness, Prevention and Social Justice for the LGBTQ+ Experience

Jared S. Rose | September 11 | 4:00 - 5:00 PM | Room 2592

Two of the most prominent social justice issues of our time are human trafficking and the oppression of sex/sexuality/gender minorities, yet it is frequently overlooked just how often these two issues converge. Although specific figures are challenging to identify, it is known that every year hundreds of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/sex, queer, etc. (LGBTQ+) are victimized through human sex trafficking (Martinez & Kelle, 2013). Moreover, research demonstrates that they are at higher risk of being trafficked than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts (Cochran, Stewart, Ginzler, & Cauce, 2002; Martinez & Kelle, 2013; Tyler, 2008). In addition to a general awareness, what is often missing in the conversation is how and why this population is at particular risk of being sold for sex, along with increasing preventative measures. This presentation will address awareness, prevention, intervention, and social justice of the sex trafficking of LGBTQ+ individuals through a three step process. An overview of the research findings on this segment of the issue will be detailed, bringing the awareness into clear focus. Next, education will be provided on the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community which puts them at particularly high risk of being manipulated and victimized. Such issues include, but are not limited to, the high rates of un-housed LGBTQ+ youth, and how nationally 60% of them report being sexually victimized (Lillie, 2013). Finally, the presenters will provide specific, concrete tools that can be utilized to combat the trafficking of LGBTQ+ persons. These resources will include direct social justice action steps, and an overview of LGBTQ+-affirmative approaches (AAMFT, 2014; Kort, 2008) These approaches can be utilized by any professional or student across a wide-range of disciplines including law enforcement, criminal justice, social work, and counseling. Through this approach, participants will leave this presentation with the information and resources to address the problem of LGBTQ+ human sex trafficking.

1) Identify and describe the awareness components associated with LGBTQ+ human trafficking.
2) Identify and describe the risk-factors which place LGBTQ+ at higher risk of human trafficking than non-LGBTQ+.
3) Implement measures to prevent the human trafficking of LGBTQ+ through individual and community interventions, and social justice activities.
4) Understand the foundational elements of affirmative approaches in working with LGBTQ+.

About the Presenter