New Report Calls for Increased Collaboration to Reduce the Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Minors

The Department of Health and Human Services plays a key role helping young victims of the commercial sex trade by raising awareness and strengthening research, according to a new report released by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

The report, commissioned by the Department of Justice, brought together experts in the medical, legal and academic fields to study the impact of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation on minors in the United States.  Committee co-chairs presented their findings and recommendations September 25 at a release event hosted by Pew Charitable Trusts.

Recommendations include increased collaboration among HHS, DOJ and the Department of Education to train individuals who interact with youth to identify and assist victims and survivors. The committee also called for federal agencies to join with nonprofit and academic partners to build a national research agenda that can help develop and evaluate trafficking interventions.

“At the Family and Youth Services Bureau, we are committed to promoting safety, stability and well-being for those young people seeking services through our grant programs who have been victimized by trafficking,” says Resa Matthew, director of the Division of Adolescent Development and Support. “We look forward to continuing this conversation so we can better serve young victims and ultimately, prevent all youth from being sexually trafficked or exploited.”

Read the full report, or the condensed report brief, on the Institute of Medicine website. The site also features a three-minute video to introduce readers to the scope of the problem.