Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Presentation for 2011 Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, September 29 - October 1, 2011, Lincoln, Nebraska.


Refugees are at particular risk for human trafficking – a consequence of their vulnerable status, the devastating losses they have experienced, and their precarious life situations until durable solutions become available. According to the United National High Commissioner for Refugees, trafficking risks for refugees are at ever-increasing levels worldwide.

This paper will provide an overview of both the constant and emerging facets of the refugee condition contributing to trafficking risk, and will offer policy and practice recommendations for risk reduction. The perspective offered is that of a national non-profit organization - Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service - which resettles refugees from around the world in forty-five communities across the United States, serves asylum-seekers and other at-risk migrants in detention, and works with smuggled and trafficked migrant children. LIRS is a national faith-based nonprofit organization, founded in 1939, which works to engage communities in service to and advocacy for migrants and refugees. Our primary expertise in the area of refugees and trafficking comes from two decades of experience working with migrant children, the insights we have gained in serving “women at risk”, and our knowledge of the vulnerabilities within refugee populations in the post-resettlement period.