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Freedom United launch 3-part podcast series to help learn why people with disabilities face greater risk of human trafficking. | APT Ireland

Freedom United launch 3-part podcast series to help learn why people with disabilities face greater risk of human trafficking.

Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

People with disabilities are more likely to experience human trafficking than their peers. Why is their risk greater and why are they not being adequately protected?

On 31 August 2023, Freedom United launched a new mini podcast series which explores research into the intersection between trafficking and people with disabilities. We learn that people with disabilities face greater difficulty finding living wage employment [1] and increased healthcare costs,[2] and how this is associated with increased trafficking vulnerability.

“Applying disability critical race studies in the trafficking field is important as it allows us to get this intersection between trafficking, disability and race that is so prevalent, where survivors of colour, especially disabled survivors of colour, are being ignored or marginalized by the law-and-order framework trafficking.” Rachel Rein, Attorney at law 
Because people with disabilities are more exposed to vulnerabilities such as poverty,[3] it drives risk-taking that traffickers are ready to exploit. In addition, traffickers deliberately target those they think they can isolate and control.[4]
Law enforcement, emergency responders and the public, are often not aware of these increased risks, which in turn results in nothing being done, even when exploitation is clear.[5]

To unpack this, the newly launched 3-part podcast series explores this topic together with Freedom United’s new partner Human Trafficking Search. Each episode spotlights a different researcher who shares their perspective and learning on the intersection of disability and modern slavery.

Episode 1: Andrea Nichols is Professor of Sociology at Forest Park College and a Lecturer in Washington University, USA,  in St. Louis’s Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department

Episode 2: Dr. Chris Carey is Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Portland State University, USA.

Episode 3: Rachel Rein is an attorney and author of multiple law review articles as well as a student note on applying disability critical race studies to human trafficking in the U.S.

Brendan Hyatt, the podcast host, has written an accompanying article published on Human Trafficking Search titled Disability and Modern Slavery: lack of attention can be as harmful as deliberate malice. An abridged version is published on Freedom United. 

To listen to the podcast: Rethink Freedom –


Text courtesy of Ms. Joanna Ewart-James, Executive Director, Freedom United.










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