It’s no secret that human trafficking is a global crisis. Every year, millions of people around-the-world are trafficked and exploited in the sex trade, forced labor, and other forms of modern slavery. Unfortunately, many of these victims go unnoticed and underserved. One such group is trafficked boys. Despite their large numbers, there are limited services available to support them. This blog post looks at why this lack of services exists and what we can do to address it.
Understanding Trafficked Boys
In order to understand why trafficked boys often don’t get the help they need, we must first look at how society views them. Generally speaking, society tends to view boys as more resilient than girls, less vulnerable and in need of protection. This false belief leads many people to overlook the plight of trafficked boys altogether—and it’s a big mistake. Studies have found that boys experience trafficking differently than girls—and are more likely to be involved in forced labor than sexual exploitation—yet still face physical and psychological abuse, deprivation, exploitation, and extreme hardship.
Reaching Trafficked Boys
So how do we get services for these overlooked victims? First, we need more research into the experiences of trafficked boys so we can better understand their needs and know how best to reach out to them. We also need improved data collection so organizations can track trends in trafficking patterns involving males and use that information to inform their programs. Finally, we need to invest resources into creating specialized services designed specifically for trafficked boys—such as mental health support or job training programs tailored for male survivors—to ensure they receive the help they desperately need but often don’t get.
Though the lack of available services for trafficked boys is an issue that has long gone ignored by society at large, there is hope on the horizon. As our understanding of the unique experiences faced by male survivors grows, so too does our ability to craft solutions that will meet their needs effectively. With increased research into this issue, and dedicated resources toward creating specialized programs designed just for them, we can begin taking steps towards ensuring no victim ever goes unnoticed or underserved again.