Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


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The sexual exploitation of men and boys is often little understood and commonly goes ignored. Internationally, it is said that 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before reaching adulthood and in some nations the exploitation and abuse of boys far outweighs that of girls. Social and cultural norms often assume men and boys to be inherently strong and/or invulnerable to sexual exploitation; however, research in this area continues to show these assumptions to be false. Because of this lack of awareness, the efforts of the organizations and individuals who work to provide for the needs of male victims are often under-supported. Love146 has made addressing the exploitation of boys (and other overlooked people groups) a key objective in its work, and believed that holistic, person-centered research is the place to start. This session will be a discussion of two exploratory studies focusing on the vulnerabilities of street-living / street-working boys in two key cities: Sihanouk Ville, Cambodia and Metro-Manila, Philippines. In each of these studies, structured interviews were conducted with a sampling of at least 50 young males presently living and/or working on the street in each respective city. Vulnerabilities of these young boys towards trafficking and sexual exploitation were addressed, particularly focusing on a number of areas including: demographics, social and family relationships, financial security, sexual history and health, experiences of violence, personal faith and future plans. This information was collected to determine present and potential needs and vulnerabilities and provide initial data as a basis for understanding, program development, and future research.