LEARN MORE ABOUT, AND COMMIT TO ENDING, HUMAN TRAFFICKING
To combat human trafficking, it will take a community of educated citizens, concentrated prevention efforts, strong and implemental laws, increased national and international cooperation, and a human rights centered approach to assisting victims of this horrible crime.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are young children, teenagers, men and women.
Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.
After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and is the fastest growing.
Many victims of human trafficking are forced to work in prostitution or the sex entertainment industry. But trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural work.
Traffickers use various techniques to instill fear in victims and to keep them enslaved. Some traffickers keep their victims under lock and key. However, the more frequent practice is to use less obvious techniques including:
Debt bondage – financial obligations, honor-bound to satisfy debt;
Isolation from the public – limiting contact with outsiders and making sure that any contact is monitored or superficial in nature;
Isolation from family members and members of their ethnic and religious community;
Confiscation of passports, visas and/or identification documents;
Use or threat of violence toward victims and/or families of victims;
The threat of shaming victims by exposing circumstances to family;
Telling victims they will be imprisoned or deported for immigration violations if they contact authorities;
Control of the victims’ money, e.g., holding their money for “safe-keeping”
In October 2000, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) made human trafficking a Federal crime. It was enacted to prevent human trafficking overseas, to protect victims and help them rebuild their lives in the U.S., and to prosecute traffickers of humans under Federal penalties. Prior to 2000, no comprehensive Federal law existed to protect victims of trafficking or to prosecute their traffickers.
What We Do
Victim Identification and Public Awareness
Rescue and Restore Campaign
Anti-Trafficking in Persons (ATIP) leads the Health and Human Services (HHS) Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking public awareness campaign, which established Rescue and Restore coalitions in 24 cities, regions and States. These community action groups are comprised of NGO leaders, academics, students, law enforcement agents, and other key stakeholders who are committed to addressing the problem of human trafficking in their own communities.
Rescue and Restore Regional Program
The Rescue and Restore Regional Program serves as the focal point for regional public awareness campaign activities and intensification of local outreach to identify victims of human trafficking.
Each Rescue and Restore Regional partner oversees and builds the capacity of a local anti-trafficking network, sub-awarding 60 percent of grant funds to grassroots organizations that identify and work with victims.
By acting as a focal point for regional anti-trafficking efforts, Rescue and Restore Regional partners encourage a cohesive and collaborative approach in the fight against modern-day slavery.
Street Outreach Grants
ATIP funds Street Outreach grants to support the identification of human trafficking victims among other vulnerable populations that the grantee organizations are already serving. These populations include homeless and at-risk youth, women and girls exploited through commercial sex, and migrant farm workers.
Assistance for Victims of Human Trafficking
Certifications and Eligibility Letters
HHS is the sole Federal agency authorized to certify adult foreign victims of human trafficking. Similarly, it is the sole Federal agency authorized to provide Eligibility Letters to minor foreign victims of human trafficking
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within HHS issues all Certifications and Eligibility Letters. Certification grants adult foreign victims of human trafficking access to Federal benefits and services to the same extent as refugees.
Likewise, Eligibility Letters grant minor foreign victims of trafficking access to Federal benefits and services to the same extent as refugees, including placement in the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program, which provides specialized, culturally appropriate foster care or other licensed care settings, according to children’s individual needs.
Trafficking victims who are U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) do not need Certification or Letters of Eligibility to be eligible for similar benefits and services.
Per Capita Services Contract
ATIP funds comprehensive support services to victims of human trafficking through a per capita services contract designed to centralize services while maintaining a high level of care for victims of human trafficking. The contract is designed to provide “anytime, anywhere” case management to assist a victim of trafficking to become certified, and to provide other short-term necessary services after Certification, through a network of nongovernmental service organization subcontractors in over 100 locations throughout the country.
Working in concert with the HHS Rescue & Restore public awareness campaign, per capita subcontractors are reimbursed for each human trafficking victim served under their case management. This per capita system ensures the provision of efficient, high-quality services to victims of human trafficking. It also streamlines support services in order to help victims of human trafficking gain timely access to shelter, legal assistance, job training and health care, enabling them to establish lives free of violence and exploitation.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline for the human trafficking field in the United States and is reached by calling 1-888-3737-888 or emailing NHTRC@PolarisProject.org.
The NHTRC operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. The NHTRC works to improve the national response to protect victims of human trafficking in the U.S. by providing callers with a range of comprehensive services, including crisis intervention, urgent and non-urgent referrals, tip reporting, and comprehensive anti-trafficking resources and technical assistance for the anti-trafficking field and those who wish to get involved.
The NHTRC is able to connect community members with additional tools to raise awareness and combat human trafficking in their local areas, as well as guide service providers and law enforcement personnel in their work with potential trafficking victims.
To perform these functions, the NHTRC maintains a national database of organizations and individuals working in the anti-trafficking field, as well as a library of available anti-trafficking resources and materials.
- This is an ongoing pledge that should be fulfilled as often as possible.