Child Victims of Human Trafficking: Outcomes and Service Adaptation within the U.S. Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Programs

Contributed by a member of the RISE Community • July 10th, 2019

In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 and subsequent reauthorizations in 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2013 define both the crime of trafficking of persons for the purposes of labor or commercial sex and the services and benefits available to victims. Child victims of trafficking have additional needs and vulnerabilities, especially as they begin to rebuild their lives in their new communities. Foreign-born child victims in the United States without the care of a parent or legal guardian are eligible to enter the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) program, a specialized system of community-based and licensed foster-care programs developed and funded specifically for certain foreign-born children.iii The URM programs operate under the principles of safety, permanency, and child well-being, coupled with the principles of integration and cultural competency. The URM network also employs a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach to meet the unique needs of these populations.

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