Although human trafficking transcends gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity, African American girls are disproportionately more at risk of becoming a victim of trafficking compared to their peers.
Trafficking victims often share the following characteristics: community and family instability, impoverished, female, a runaway or homeless youth, and a history of child protective services and/or foster care involvement (Walker 2013). According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, in 2012, 26% of the children in the foster care system were African-American. As stated by the FBI, African American children comprise 52% of all juvenile prostitution arrests. "African-American victims of domestic minor sex trafficking are much more likely to be arrested on prostitution charges, leaving them more vulnerable to re-traumatization in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, subject to the consequences of having an arrest and juvenile record, and deprived of appropriate intervention and treatment services" (Rights4Girls). In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that 62% of confirmed sex trafficking victims are African American (End Slavery Now). To properly educate the community, identify victims and perpetrators, and serve survivors, one must understand how societal disparities can affect communities of color. This understanding is vital in the fight against human trafficking in the United States.
Sources: Kate Walker, California Child Welfare Council, Ending the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: A Call for Multi-System Collaboration in California (2013), pp.18-20. Child Welfare Information Gateway, Foster Care Statistics 2012. Understand How Human Trafficking Affects Communities of Color. Rights4Girls Domestic Child Sex Trafficking and African-American Girls.