LGBTQ+ survivors of human trafficking are disproportionally served within the larger anti-trafficking movement. LGBTQ+ youth, ages 16 -24, are two to seven times more likely to be victimized and face commercial sexual exploitation than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts (Modern Slavery Research Project, 2016; Dank, et al., 2015). There is little effort to reach out to adult LGBTQ+ survivors of human trafficking, many of whom are not identified as victims because of their unique experiences but also because of systematic heterosexism and discrimination faced by this community. There is a widespread lack of resources and educational materials about serving LGBTQ+ survivors of human trafficking, and many organizations feel ill-equipped and under prepared to work with this specialized population. This presentation was created to help organizations build their capacity to competently serve LGBTQ+ individuals and reach survivors that may go unidentified. Attendees will leave the discussion with a better understanding of how to identify biases that leave LGBTQ+ individuals underserved within the existing anti-trafficking movement. By understanding these biases, service providers and organizations can begin to assess the gaps in their programs as well as areas of improvement to make LGBTQ+ survivors feel welcome and safe. The presentation will explore unique challenges and hurdles these survivors face so organizations can incorporate solutions into their overall trafficking programming. By breaking down these unique challenges, anti-trafficking organizations and service providers can gain insight on building relationships and trust within their community to address the services gap provided to LGBTQ+ survivors of human trafficking.
Alexander Delgado is a Program Officer for the Trafficking Victim Assistance Program at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Alexander has spent over 5 years working with LGBTQ+ survivors of human trafficking. Through partnerships and capacity building, Alexander has established programmatic guidelines to better serve sexual and gender minorities.