To read this content please select one of the options below:

Minor sex trafficking of girls with disabilities

Hannabeth Franchino-Olsen (Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Hannah A. Silverstein (Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Nicole F. Kahn (Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Sandra L. Martin (Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 25 February 2020

Issue publication date: 30 April 2020

320

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the associations between minor women’ (girls’) disability status and victimization via minor sex trafficking.

Design/methodology/approach

This investigation used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a large, nationally-representative sample of in-school adolescents in the USA that began in 1994. The analysis included bivariate associations between physical disability status or low cognitive ability and minor sex trafficking among female survey respondents (n = 5,430).

Findings

Girls with any disability had a higher prevalence of minor sex trafficking than their peers without disabilities. Odds of minor sex trafficking were significantly higher for those with severe physical disabilities (5.83) and for those with low cognitive abilities (4.86) compared to the odds of their peers without their respective disabilities. Results for girls with mild or moderate physical disabilities were not statistically significant compared to peers without disabilities.

Social implications

These nationally-representative survey data reinforce the trends present in smaller populations and case study research: female adolescents with disabilities are at a heightened risk for sex trafficking. On both a national and global scale, the human rights gaps in policy and practice must be addressed to adequately reach, intervene and protect this vulnerable population.

Originality/value

Research about minor sex trafficking typically relies on small-scale surveys and/or convenience samples. This study used a nationally-representative survey to demonstrate the link between disability status and women’s experiences with minor sex trafficking.

Keywords

Citation

Franchino-Olsen, H., Silverstein, H.A., Kahn, N.F. and Martin, S.L. (2018), "Minor sex trafficking of girls with disabilities", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 97-108. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-07-2019-0055

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles