Report on child labor trafficking is first of its kind

A new study coauthored by Katherine Kaufka Walts, director of Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Center for the Human Rights of Children and clinical professor of law, and Chlece Neal (MSW/JS ’13, MS ’18) is the first comprehensive examination of child labor trafficking in the United States.

“Understanding the Trafficking of Children for the Purposes of Labor in the United States,” supported by the National Institute of Justice, explores how labor trafficking impacts a wide range of children who experience individual and structural vulnerabilities. It also explores the contexts under which these abuses occur, and how to best meet the needs of these young survivors—both U.S. citizen and foreign-national.

“Given the recent national headlines highlighting cases of child labor exploitation and the concerning rollback of child labor laws in multiple states, the release of this study on child labor trafficking in the U.S. couldn’t come at a more critical juncture,” says Kaufka Walts. “This report provides vital insights into the identities of traffickers, the experiences of children, and the opportunities and challenges surrounding the protection of children from labor trafficking and exploitation.”

“I hope the report catalyzes meaningful action among policymakers and practitioners,” says Neal, now executive director and staff attorney at Chicago Advocate Legal. “By understanding the complexities of child labor trafficking, I hope we can secure more funding and develop more targeted interventions that not only prevent exploitation but also support the recovery and resilience of our most vulnerable populations.”

Learn more about the report from Katherine Kaufka Walts.