A combined research project of: The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania and Loyola University (New Orleans) Modern Slavery Research Project

Researchers announced findings from the largest-ever combined sample of homeless youth in the United States and Canada, revealing that nearly one-fifth are victims of human trafficking, including those trafficked for sex, labor, or both. The research drew on interviews with 911 homeless youth across 13 cities, including 12 cities where homeless young people accessed services through Covenant House, between February 2014 and March 2017.

The studies encompassed interviews with young people aged 17 to 25. Among the reports’ key findings:

  • 15% of the total population of 911 young people had been trafficked for sex (21.4% of young women and 10% of young men).
  • An astounding 26.9% of LGBTQ youth reported experiences consistent with the U.S. federal definition of sex trafficking.
  • 32.1% of the youth interviewed had engaged in some way in the sex trade at some point: 40.5% of young females; 25.3% of young men.
  • 56% of the transgender youth reported being involved in the sex trade in some way.

Download the Loyola Research Results

Download the University of Pennsylvania Study Executive Summary