The state of programs for educating youth about sex trafficking in the United States: A nationwide scoping scan survey

Cynthia Fraga Rizo*, Brittney R. Chesworth, Hannabeth Franchino-Olsen, Lb Klein, Melissa L. Villodas, Sandra L. Martin, Rebecca J. Macy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growing interest in preventing and addressing sex trafficking has led to an increase in the development and implementation of sex trafficking educational programing for youth. We conducted a nationwide scoping scan survey of U.S. programs focused on educating youth about sex trafficking to learn more about existing programs. Staff at 37 programs completed the survey and provided information on program development, content, structure, delivery, and evaluation. The majority of 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 U.S. 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Trafficking
Early online date25 Jun 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2021


  • education
  • prevention
  • programs
  • sex trafficking
  • students
  • youth


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