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Reimagine: Opportunity – New Award Competition Opens for Solutions to Modern Slavery

Human Trafficking

Partnership for Freedom logo which shows two hands, a figure of a person and the words modern solutions to modern slavery.By Katherine Chon, Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons

In his landmark speech on human trafficking in Sept. 2012, President Obama announced a public-private initiative between the federal government and Humanity United to spur innovation in social services for survivors of human trafficking.  Earlier this week at the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services joined partner agencies to launch the Partnerships for Freedom. The Partnership announced the first of three challenge competitions to identify, incubate and pilot the most innovative and sustainable solutions to victim services. 

The Administration for Children and Families encourages wide participation from all sectors across communities to respond to the challenge.  Winners will receive funding to bring their ideas to life. 

“The magnitude and scope of the problem is too large for the government alone to arrest all the perpetrators, rescue all the victims and restore all the survivors,” said George Sheldon, HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families. “Together, in partnerships like this one, we can begin to turn the tables on those who subject their victims to the greatest degradations known to mankind.”

The first challenge, Reimagine: Opportunity, seeks groundbreaking ideas that address three critical issues faced by human trafficking survivors on the path to recovery:

  • Sustainable housing: There is a dire shortage of emergency, transitional and long-term housing for survivors
  • Economic empowerment: Finding a job and becoming financially independent are critical elements of recovery, but there are limited solutions and services to help survivors access these opportunities
  • Social services: Survivors commonly require legal services, medical and mental health care, dental care and case management services; however, survivors often are unable to access the services they need, or if they are, the quality is inconsistent

Initial applications for Reimagine: Opportunity will be accepted until Nov. 17, 2013.  Up to 25 finalists will be invited to attend an Innovation Workshop in Washington, D.C., to further develop their ideas. Final winners will begin piloting their solutions in Spring 2014.

The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership to spur innovative solutions to human trafficking challenges led by Humanity United, the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Private efforts are supported by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation and a growing list of private donors.

To learn more and download the application, visit

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