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RTI’s Deborah Gibbs Presenting at Combatting Human Trafficking Symposium

Federal legislation establishes a clear mandate for the child welfare system in addressing sex trafficking of children and youth. Yet states are generally in early stages of developing policy and practice, and few states address child labor trafficking at all. By contrast, Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) has investigated allegations of human trafficking since 2009, with a separate allegation categories for sex and labor trafficking established in 2013.

RTI International, an independent research institute, partnered with DCF to conduct the largest study to date of human trafficking within a child welfare population. Deborah Gibbs, Principal Investigator of the study, will summarize study findings at the Third Annual Combatting Human Trafficking Symposium in Washington, D.C., Sept 20, 2019.

The presentation describes characteristics and child welfare experiences of more than 6,000 children with investigated human trafficking allegations, trafficking victimization among children who run away from foster care, and characteristics of more than 500 investigated allegations of labor trafficking.

Study findings continue to inform Florida’s ongoing policy and practice development. 

Deborah Gibbs

Meet the Presenter

Deborah Gibbs has been leading research in human trafficking within the United States since 2009, with an emphasis on trafficking of children and youth. She currently leads a comprehensive assessment of human trafficking and the child welfare population and is the lead author of a recently released Report to Congress on the child welfare system’s response to the sex trafficking of children.

About the Event

The Combatting Human Trafficking Symposium is a full-day event aimed at engaging policy makers and practitioners involved in implementing action-based solutions to combat modern slavery. It is co-sponsored by the McCain Institute and the Howard G. Buffet Foundation.


National Press Club
529 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20045
September 20, 2019
Doors open at 8:00 a.m.