Youth & Shelter Services, Inc.

Human Trafficking Resources

Human trafficking: any community, any child

Human trafficking is the exploitation of human beings for another person’s financial gain. It involves recruitment, harboring, transporting, obtaining or maintaining of a person by force, fraud or coercion. It’s illegal and it’s happening in our communities, large and small.


Targets for traffickers  

While anyone can be a victim of human trafficking, the most vulnerable populations are frequently targeted: runaway and homeless youth, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or social discrimination.


Recent data  

  • In 2015, an estimated one out of five endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. Of those, 74% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran.
  • Iowa young women and children are advertised online for sex daily. On average, 40% of those advertised have indicators in their posts that they are potentially under the age of 18.
  • An average of 52% of those individuals advertised online are said to be from other cities and states, indicating they are victims being moved from city-to-city and state-to-state (including Iowa).




If you suspect human trafficking, follow these tips:

Do not confront the trafficker.

Call 911 for an emergency, or if there is immediate danger. 

Report all cases to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 1-800-373-7888

or text HELP to 233733.


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