Human Trafficking Prevalence and Child Welfare Risk Factors Among Homeless Youth: A Multi-City Study

Schilling Wolfe, D.
Greeson, J.K.P.
Wasch, S.
Treglia, D.
Paper/Research Report
Published: January, 2018

This report is from a study by The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania that interviewed 270 homeless youth in Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, DC to learn about the prevalence of human trafficking, prior child maltreatment, out-of-home placements, and protective factors among young people who were sex trafficked or engaged in the sex trade to survive. Of those interviewed, 20 percent were victims of human trafficking, including 17 percent who were victims of sex trafficking and 6 percent who were victims of labor trafficking. Among all the participants, 14 percent engaged in “survival sex” to meet their basic needs. A total of 36 percent of those interviewed reported engaging in a commercial sex act at some point in their lives. This study was a part of a larger initiative by Covenant House International to research human trafficking among homeless youth encompassing nearly 1,000 young people across 13 cities. (author abstract modified)

Available for free download at The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research website at:
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