Intersections Between Human Trafficking and Other Vulnerable Populations
Constance Rossiter, Cynthia Kennedy  -  2012/1/19
http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ovcproviderforum
 
 
While the majority of victims of human trafficking have been identified as women and children, the minority in a significant amount of research tends to be men. My question is shouldn't more research focus on minorities of human trafficking, trying to discover what differences might be evident when taking a gendered approach to the practice? Additionally, it seems as though research has focused primarily on victims (which is understandable and justified), but shouldn't more research focus on the understanding traffickers, as to develop better prevention and prosecution guidelines?
 
1.  Cynthia
 The anti-trafficking field as a whole is very young. For example, the first federal anti-trafficking legislation was passed only 11 years ago in 2000. As such, there are many areas within the field, as you point out, that would benefit from more research and attention.
 
2.  cr
 More research is needed on nearly all aspects of human trafficking including all other vulnerable populations, such a males, those with disabilities, those identifying as GLBTQ and more. Some obstacles in researching minorities might be the lack of a common language and understanding when defining the issue. For example, in the GLBTQ community, young males may talk about their partners where we might think pimp.In working with victims, I believe that it will be difficult to develop a unique trafficker profile as they share many common characteristic and that variations mimic the general population. However, more research could support or reject my assumption. 
 
 
Could you comment on the intersection of human trafficking and immigration, especially with respect to unaccompanied immmmigrant minors?
 
1.  Cynthia
 The desire for a better life for oneself or ones family often drives people to seek opportunities outside their country of origin. Traffickers often exploit this desire and prey upon people who may be vulnerable due to their precarious socio-economic status. Victims are typically recruited through fraudulent promises and coercion in their country of origin, during transit, or after arrival in the U.S. Due to inherent vulnerabilities that unaccompanied immigrant minors possess, they should be screened for human trafficking. Screening may or may not have occurred in the process of being placed in a URM program or in a detention facility.
 
2.  cr
 Minors are usually pushed across the border because they are looking for their lost family members or are trying to escape the turmoil and violence in their countries. Although the number of unaccompanied minors entering the country is high, very few are actually identified as victims of human trafficking. It is possible that they are not adequately screened for human trafficking when they are detained.
 
 
Is there any particular occupation or environment(aside from the obvious such as medical, educational & law enforcement)that should receive the most training for HT awareness? For example, do you hear victims stating that the only time they ever had a few minutes out of the traffickers control & supervision was when they were sent into the convenience store for milk & bread each week. Would there have been a chance to 'read' the victim's covert cry for help if the cashier had been trained to recognize the signs? Thank you.
 
1.  cr
 Some occupations/environments that may be targeted for awareness building are hotel staff, taxi drivers, utility companies, cable companies, house and office cleaning crews.
 
2.  Jonathan Grubb
 Would the training required for individuals in this position be mostly focused around identification or should it be more holisitic in nature, focusing on more preventative methods as well as protective services and strategies?
 
3.  Cynthia
 We often hear of victims seeking help at a church, temple, mosque, etc. For some victims of domestic servitude, church may be the only place he/she is allowed to go. In light of this, conducting outreach and training with faith communities is a beneficial area to target.
 
 
1. What best practices have you found for providing safe shelter for adolescent trafficking victims? What suggestions do you have and what pitfalls should be avoided? 2. How do you respond to those who feel that detaining trafficked adolescents in juvenile justice facilities is the safest option available? Do you agree or disagree? 3. I'm sure you will be discussing this - but which trauma-focused treatment strategies have you seen work most effectively and which ones do not seem to be as effective? Are certain treatment strategies detrimental and to be avoided?
 
1.  cr
 There is no cookie cutter approach when working with adolescent victims in juvenile justice facilities. Some of them may have other charges beyond prostitution. Even though it may seem that the victim is safer in the juvenile justice facility initially, the potential harm may outweigh the perceived benefits. For one, the victim is criminalized and re-traumatized, which will only support her or his belief that the only person who can provide protection is the trafficker. Experiences with other juvenile delinquents in the facility may expose them to further harm, and they may also have an opportunity to recruit others from this population into the life.
 
2.  Cynthia
 While there are multiple approaches to trauma treatment, the primary guideline for any trauma treatment modality is to avoid re-traumatization. Be aware of power dynamics and avoid repeating patterns of control and coercion with your client. Instead, work with them towards safety and empowerment. I would advocate for a phase oriented approach that first addresses safety and stabilization including affect regulation skills and increasing ones repertoire of coping skills before engaging in any trauma processing.
 
3.  cr
 Safe shelter remains a concern for adolescent trafficking victims. The most obvious one is that they may run away and return to the trafficker. Safe shelters should be licensed, properly vetted, adequately staffed, provide long-term treatment within a victim-centered and trauma-based model, and involve the families, if appropriate, in the recovery process.
 
4.  Cynthia
 With regard to the detention of juveniles, I think it should be handled on a case by case basis. Ideally, adolescents who have been trafficked would be placed in a shelter or residential facility that specializes in working with this population and provides a continuum of services to help them in their healing process. However, there are not sufficient programs to meet the needs of trafficked youth.
 
 
What are the barriers that foreign born survivors of trafficking face when seeking and getting help? What key training do service providers need in order to provide effective services?
 
1.  Cynthia
 Providers should have a thorough knowledge of the dynamics of human trafficking including force, fraud, coercion tactics that traffickers use to exploit their victims, how to identify potential victims, potential benefits available to victims, how to conduct interviews with victims, assess client needs, safety issues, awareness of cultural factors, understand traumatic stress reactions and a trauma-informed approach to service provision, etc.
 
2.  cr
 Foreign born survivors usually do not seek help because of the following barriers: language, culture, lack of education, not identifying as victims, and their perceptions of American authorities, such as law enforcement being as corrupt as those in their countries of origin. When seeking services, in addition to the above, survivors do not understand the social service delivery mechanisms, available resources, their rights of victims, and even how to navigate all these complexities. For support in finding the right training to answer your question, please visit OVCTTACs website at https://www.ovcttac.gov
 
3.  Cynthia
 Foreign born survivors face numerous barriers. Some of those include fear of seeking help because of their immigration status, lack of trust in law enforcement due to negative experiences in their country of origin or threats the trafficker has made about being arrested or deported if they seek help, language barriers, lack of identification to prove who they are if their documents have been confiscated, and lack of knowledge that help is available to them in the US.
 
 
What is the overlap between domestic violence and human trafficking?
 
1.  Cynthia
 Similar tactics of power and control are used by both perpetrators of intimate partner violence and by traffickers. Victims may have been coerced into a romantic relationship with the trafficker, believe that person to be his/her partner, and even have children together before being forced or coerced into a trafficking situation. If you are working with a victim of intimate partner violence and are hear common indicators of human trafficking (ie. partner profiting off the labor of the victim, asking the victim to engage in commercial sex to help the familyrelationship, lack of access to earnings, etc.), this points to the need to conduct a screen for human trafficking.
 
 
Can you talk about what you know about human trafficking and people with disabilities?
 
1.  cr
 Persons with disabilities are exceptionally vulnerable when it comes to any type of exploitation, including human trafficking. We are currently working with a survivor from a labor case who is hearing and speaking impaired. The client is part of a large case with many victims. We learned as much as possible about this impairment before we set up an intake date how to communicate with the client, available community resources for interpretations, costs, the specialized needs of this client, how to work with other service agencies when referring the client for outside services, and more. We found that the most important piece is to try and learn as much as possible and to ask for guidance when in doubt.
 
 
Aside from training of law enforcement and other victim service providers, do you have any recommendations of other crime prevention methods that could be used to help prevent human trafficking?
 
1.  Cynthia
 There are a number of folks in the field who are working on addressing the demand side of human trafficking - both for the demand of commercial sex and demand for cheap goods and services. One such organization is Demand Abolition. http://www.demandabolition.org The Not For Sale Campaign also looks at the supply chain for the products that we buy, drawing attention to items that are produced with or without slave labor.
 
2.  Alicia
 Advocate for local legislature to hold traffickers accountable.
 
 
What are common reactions that victims of trafficking experience?
 
1.  Cynthia
 Many trafficking victims have been exposed to chronic trauma within the context of the trafficking situation. Such chronic, repeated trauma is associated with a range of psychological effects. Some common reactions include depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress responses (nightmares, triggered reactions, sleep difficulties, emotional constriction, inability to recall details of the trauma, irritability, hypervigilance, etc.)
 
 
As advocates in a rape crisis center, what ways can we help to identify HT in our community and the barriers to service?
 
1.  cr
 A community needs assessment will help you learn the available resources in your community and also gaps in services for victims of trafficking. Shared Hope International will be a great resource to help you with a community assessment. You can access their website at www.sharedhope.org or contact them directly to get more information. They also offer an intake tool to help identify minor victims.
 
2.  cr
 The key to identifying victims of human trafficking is outreach and awareness and to mobilize the whole community to participate in the efforts: law enforcement, social service providers, schools and educational institutions, businesses, etc. Teach the community what human trafficking is, how to recognize it, how to report it, and how to best assist survivors. Again, if you are looking for an appropriate training tool or need any training assistance, please contact OVCTTAC at www.ovcttac.gov, or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at www.polarisproject.org.
 
3.  Cynthia
 I recommend taking a look at materials produced by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. They have developed a Human Trafficking Assessment for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault programs that can be downloaded from their site. It includes specific indicators of trafficking within domestic violence and sexual assault clients as well as screening questions. It can be found under Trafficking Assessment Tools. (http://www.polarisproject.org/resources/tools-for-service-providers-and-law-enforcement)
 
 
Is any population more a risk ? New Americans
 
1.  Cynthia
 There is no single typical face of a victim. That being said, traffickers tend to prey upon the most vulnerable in society. Foreign national victims may be vulnerable due to issues of poverty, the socio-political-economic climate in their country of origin, family illness, forced immigration, andor exposure to violence and trauma. For US citizen victims, specifically, domestic minor victims of sex trafficking, there is a high correlation between a history of early trauma (ie. incest, sexual abuse, physical abuse, witness to domestic violence, and coming from a broken home) and being trafficked for sex.
 
 
What agencies can you utilize to help identify unknown victims of trafficking from South American countries?
 
1.  cr
 To ensure that victims have access to all the benefits afforded them under the TVPA, they have to be identified as a victim of a severe form of human trafficking by either law enforcement or an immigration attorney.
 
 
I've heard a lot of people discuss how to end the supply side of HT. What about the demand? Is there anything being done to curb the demand side of it?
 
1.  James
 Greed will always produce people who seek free or cheap labor for obvious profit reasons. Only if criminal penalties and financial cost of attaining such labor are very high will demand be reduced. The problem as I see it is that the vulnerable populations, yes the supply, is so large and growing (for many reasons) makes it virtually impossible for a wicked minded business person to ignore. It would be like telling organizations not to use volunteers. With these kind of factors affecting demand, there has to be a drastic change in the priorities of a nation, and moralities of a people. The change can start with us...
 
2.  cr
 There have been several responses to the demand side of human trafficking by various agencies. For example, the SAGE (Standing Against Global Exploitation) Project, in San Francisco, hosts The John School, which is a model educational program aimed at reducing the demand. More information about this program can be found on their website: http://www.sagesf.org/html/info_briefs_terms.htm.
 
3.  Cynthia
 There are a number of folks in the field who are working on addressing the demand side of human trafficking - both for the demand of commercial sex and demand for cheap goods and services. One such organization is Demand Abolition. http://www.demandabolition.org The Not For Sale Campaign also looks at the supply chain for the products that we buy, drawing attention to items that are produced with or without slave labor.
 
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