Human Trafficking of Youth with Disabilities
The International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA), in collaboration with the National Human Trafficking and Disabilities Working Group (NHTDWG), partnered together through this project to increase identification of children and youth with disabilities who are victims of human trafficking and improve their ability to access appropriate services. IOFA and NHTDWG created a series of targeted education, training and outreach materials and tools for organizations serving trafficked youth; youth with disabilities; and at-risk youth; and to youth themselves.
Trafficking of Children & Youth with Disabilities: What Providers Serving At-Risk Youth Need to Know
This educational booklet provides information about identifying and serving children and youth with disabilities who have been, or whom are at risk of being, trafficked for sex or labor. Information on disability and anti-trafficking services and resources is provided.
- Webinar 1- Trafficking of Youth with Disabilities: What Providers Serving Youth with Disabilities Need to Know
This webinar is geared toward professionals who work with youth with disabilities as an introduction to human trafficking and how it may impact young people with disabilities. It provides information on what youth trafficking is, some common indicators of trafficking, and steps to take to address youth trafficking within their communities.
- Webinar 2- Trafficking of Youth with Disabilities: What Human Trafficking Service Providers Need to Know
This webinar is intended for providers serving youth who have experienced trafficking as an introduction to providers to learn more about how disability, and how youth with a disability are at an increased risk of trafficking for sex or labor. It provides information on what disability is, suggestions for providing appropriate services for youth with disabilities who may be trafficked and provides disability resources.
- Webinar 3- Trafficking of Disabilities: What Providers Serving At-Risk Youth Need to Know
This webinar introduces service providers for at-risk youth to human trafficking and how youth with disabilities are especially at risk. It provides information on what sex and labor trafficking is, what disability is, and the role of a service provider to identify, serve, and refer young people with disabilities who may have experienced trafficking.
- Episode 1: Human Traffickers Targeting Youth with Disabilities? What is That All About?
This podcast is a discussion with experts working at the intersection of human trafficking and disabilities. It provides an explanation of trafficking and the unique complexities at the intersection of youth with disabilities and human trafficking. Existing services and what can be done as a community and providers to better support trafficking survivors and what gaps exists. The National Human Trafficking & Disabilities Working Group is finally introduced- a group leading the movement to give a voice to survivors as well as connect/foster a network of organizations and people to best understand, respond to and meet the needs of survivors and those with disabilities.
Hosted by Margaret Potkay, with Jody Haskin, Program Manager, International Organization for Adolescents, and Jae Jin Pak, Project Specialist, International Organization for Adolescents.
- Episode 2 : Look Around You—Identifying young people with disabilities who may be trafficked
We learn from expert and registered nurse Melanie Cross about how traffickers target, groom, and control youth with disabilities and how to respond to suspicions of trafficking. Melanie shares first person experiences/testimonials from her career working with youth trafficking survivors with disabilities, as evidence of their greater risk of being trafficked. We discuss how the internet and dark web contributes to this victimization and recruitment and conclude the interview sharing what providers can do if they suspect trafficking.
We learn from Susan Kahan, clinical therapist and expert in disability advocacy, about how services can best be accessible and inclusive for youth survivors with disabilities. Susan introduces different types and degrees of disability; shares where to find resources or referrals for a trafficked youth with disabilities; and how these agencies can be disability friendly and what that means. Finally, she shares her insight on cross training between agencies and the disability community and the need for collaboration.
Hosted by Margaret Potkay with guests: Melanie Cross: Registered Nurse, educator of healthcare providers on human trafficking, Los Angeles; and Susan Kahan: Therapist, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic.
- Episode 3, Part 1: Speaking Out! Human Trafficking Survivors and Individuals with Disabilities Discuss Their Lived Experience and Interaction with Services.
We hear the story of Ericka Reil, a human trafficking survivor who has 15 years working in disability rights. When Ericka was born with the rare genetic disease Marfan Syndrome, she was given a life expectancy of 9 years old. She recounts how she was deemed a “throwaway child” due to her health condition and therefore fell victim to trafficking at the hands of family. She describes the ways people treated her disability as a way to disguise and hide what was happening in the household and how it prevented her from getting the help she was calling out for as a young girl at school. She tells her story escaping the trafficking situation, who helped; what services were available and what the whole process was like. Ericka shares her beautiful journey from surviving trafficking to becoming an inspirational, empowered advocate who today trains law enforcement and combats all forms of abuse.
Hosted by Margaret Potkay with guest Ericka Reil: Vermont Center for Independent Living advocate on issues including but not limited to sexual and domestic violence of persons with disabilities; chair of the Barre City ADA committee; Chair of the PAIMI committee.
- Episode 3, Part 2 : Speaking Out! Human Trafficking Survivors and Individuals with Disabilities Discuss Their Lived Experience and Interaction with Services
We hear from TJ Gordon, a researcher-self advocate at the Institute on Disability and Human Development at UIC and Co-Founder of the Chicagoland Disabled People of Color Coalition. TJ, who identifies as autistic, describes autism and what it feels like living with autism. He discusses common barriers that providers and organizations unintentionally create to best respond to and meet the needs of people with disabilities and gives suggestions to youth service providers and organizations on how to become disability aware/inclusive. He shares how the best living resource we have to understand the accommodations needed to navigate daily life for people with disabilities are people with disabilities themselves.
Hosted by Margaret Potkay with guest TJ Gordon: researcher-self advocate at the Institute on Disability and Human Development at UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Co-Founder of the Chicagoland Disabled People of Color Coalition.
Informational Video Series
- Video 1- Human Trafficking Happens to Youth with Disabilities
Short informational video addressing addressing the disability community on disability and human trafficking. Provides information on what human trafficking is, some risk factors faced by youth with disabilities and resources to get help. This video gives a brief introduction on the risk of trafficking for youth with disabilities.
- Video 2- Becoming Disability Inclusive: How Anti-Trafficking Providers Can Support Youth with Disabilities
Short informational video for disability service providers that addresses disability and human trafficking. Provides information on what human trafficking is, some risk factors faced by youth with disabilities and resources for more information. These videos give a brief introduction on the risk of trafficking for youth with disabilities and then gives resources for additional information.