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The State of Programs for Educating Youth about Sex Trafficking in the United States: A Nationwide Scoping Scan Survey

NCJ Number
Journal of Human Trafficking Volume: Online Dated: June 2021
Cynthia Fraga Rizo; Brittney R. Chesworth; Hannabeth Franchino-Olsen; Lb Klein; Melissa L. Villodas; Sandra L. Martin ; Rebecca J. Macy
Date Published
June 2021

Since an increasing interest in preventing and addressing sex trafficking has led to an increase in the development and implementation of sex trafficking educational programing for youth, this article reports on a nationwide scoping scan survey of U.S. programs focused on educating youth about sex trafficking.


Staff at 37 programs completed the survey and provided information on program development, content, structure, delivery, and evaluation. Most programs included youth and survivors in program development. Programs aimed to prevent and increase awareness of sex trafficking with trauma-informed content focused on trafficking dynamics, grooming, warning signs, and actions to take if trafficking is suspected. Slightly over half of the programs also addressed labor trafficking and other forms of violence. Programs targeted youth and teachers, but varied in terms of delivery setting, format, and duration. About two thirds of the programs had undergone some form of evaluation, most by program developers, implementers, or staff. Study findings highlight the current landscape of sex trafficking education programming in the United States. Recommendations are provided for advancing practice and research, including determining the most efficacious program content and delivery. Empowering youth through education and prevention are key steps to creating safe and inclusive communities. (publisher abstract modified)