Victims of human trafficking are often identified and served by individuals who do not consider themselves experts or specialists in the field of human trafficking. Rather, they are working with related victim or vulnerable populations in fields such as health care, education, child welfare, juvenile justice systems, school staff, or worker and immigration rights.., and recognize signs of human trafficking within the population they serve.
Everyone has a role! Victims of human trafficking are regularly identified and served by individuals working in child welfare systems, runaway and homeless youth programs, immigrant and refugee service programs, sexual assault programs, and domestic violence shelters. You do not need to be a specialized human trafficking service provider in order to provide good services for victims of human trafficking. However, it is critically important that when you do engage with victims, you should know what resources are available within your community and provide services that are trauma-informed, victim-centered, and tailored to the specific needs of trafficking victims.
Whether you are a child-serving professional or in the health care field, the following resources will help you network with victim service providers and build your organization’s capacity.
Connect with resources in your state or local community by—
Depending on their eligibility, trafficking victims may have access to—
Through the OVC Training and Technical Center (OVC TTAC) Human Trafficking TTA initiative, OVC helps to build the capacity of the field and improve the response to human trafficking victims. The initiative has three priorities.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for information on how to get the training you need to combat human trafficking in your community. To learn more about how OVC TTAC can support your efforts, visit the following pages of the OVC TTAC website.
Victim Assistance Training Online
Victim Assistance Training Online is a Web-based victim assistance training program offering victim service providers and allied professionals the opportunity to acquire the essential skills and knowledge to more effectively assist victims of crime.
National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events
Locate additional training opportunities by conducting a search of the OVC National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events. The OVC Calendar was created to help victims, victim service providers, allied professionals, and other interested individuals plan, promote, and locate events of interest to the victim service community in their area.
The most well-known funds for trafficking victim services are authorized by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) (Pub. L. 106-386) (as amended) and are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These funds support nonprofit organizations that provide comprehensive services for survivors of human trafficking, including food, housing, medical and mental health care, job skills training, education, legal services, case management, and more.
The HHS funds are administered by the HHS Office for Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and are for foreign national victims. The DOJ funds are administered by OVC and are for both foreign national and U.S. citizen victims.
In 2003, OVC began funding trafficking victim service providers under the Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Program. The primary goal of this program is to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to assist victims of human trafficking, as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, as amended. To meet this goal, the program encourages interagency collaboration, a coordinated community response to victims of human trafficking, and provision of high-quality services that address the individual needs of trafficking victims. This program provides funding to victim service organizations with a demonstrated history of providing services for victims of human trafficking. Funding under this program supports the following two program areas.
Funding under both program areas supports efforts to increase the capacity of communities’ capacity to respond to human trafficking victims by developing interagency partnerships and professional training, and promoting public awareness activities.
Since 2004, OVC and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) have partnered to support the creation of multidisciplinary anti-human trafficking task forces. In 2010, OVC and BJA began funding Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force sites, which take a comprehensive approach to combating all forms of trafficking. This program supports two partners from each task force location.
The BJA award supports law enforcement agencies’ efforts to coordinate the goals, objectives, and activities of the entire task force in close collaboration with the local U.S. Attorney’s Office and the victim service provider partner. The OVC award supports a victim service organization to coordinate the provision of a comprehensive array of culturally and linguistically appropriate services to all trafficking victims identified within the geographic area impacted by the task force.
Other funding sources can provide critical services and support for trafficking victims, and you can offer victims the following information on services.