Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, and other manipulative tactics to trap millions of people worldwide. Children and youth experiencing homelessness are a prime target of this criminal industry.
Youth Facing Homelessness are Extremely Vulnerable to Human Trafficking
Nearly 20% of the people who find safety at Covenant House California are survivors of human trafficking.
Nearly 1 in 4 were approached for paid sex on their first night of homelessness.
Almost a third of our shelter residents who identify as LGBTQ+ have experienced trafficking.
Human Trafficking in California
“California consistently has the highest human trafficking rates and reported cases of any state in the nation”
Of 641 youth interviewed at Covenant House sites across the US and Canada, including Oakland and Los Angeles, one in five identified that they had survived some form of human trafficking. Nine out of every ten youth interviewed reported being approached by someone with lucrative work opportunities that turned out to be fraudulent, scams, or sex trafficking.
California consistently has the highest human trafficking rates and reported cases of any state in the nation.
Research shows that youth and young adults experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable groups to traffickers – one in five unhoused young people experiences either labor or sexual exploitation.
From 2015 to 2021, the percentage of human trafficking cases that involved sex trafficking increased from 87% to 89% in California and from 85% to 88% nationwide.
Unhoused Youth are Especially Vulnerable
Young women and girls are the most at-risk of trafficking. Traffickers often target youth in vulnerable situations, like homelessness and poverty, by exploiting their lack of access to resources, and a sense of community.