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SSBG IM 01-2008 Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking

Published: November 1, 2007
Audience:
Social Services Block Grants (SSBG)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)


SOCIAL SERVICES BLOCK
GRANT PROGRAM

 Information Memorandum
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of State Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington , D.C. 20447

Transmittal No. 01-2008

Date: November 1,2007


TO: State and Territory Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) Lead Agencies

SUBJECT: "Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking"

PURPOSE: To inform SSBG grantees about Administration for Children and Families (ACF)initiatives to deal with the serious problem of human trafficking.

CONTENT: The United Nations (UN) calls human trafficking a "transnational problem," and insists "no country is immune." Europol estimates that human trafficking is now a several billion dollar industry per year. U.S. Government figures approximate 600,000 to 800,000 fall victim annually to human trafficking worldwide, while in the U.S., 14,500 to 17,500 are enslaved, forced, or coerced into unthinkable situations. These victims — young children, teenagers, men, and women — are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of either sexual exploitation or forced labor. Stated simply, human trafficking is modern-day slavery.

Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000, and strengthened the Act in 2003 and 2005. President George W. Bush has led worldwide commitment to fighting human trafficking; in a speech to the UN General Assembly, the President declared, "The trade in human beings for any purpose must not be allowed to thrive in our time." The campaign to Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking (Rescue & Restore), under ACF, was created specifically to address the needs of victims of human trafficking in America.

Rescue & Restore seeks to educate the public about the seriousness of human trafficking and to identify and assist victims. The major component of Rescue & Restore is public awareness and education. Human trafficking is often called a "hidden crime" because victims are difficult to identify and do not usually come forward on their own. Rescue & Restore teaches social service
providers, law enforcement officials, ethnic and faith-based groups, and public health officials to "Look Beneath the Surface" — to reach out, identify, and connect victims with the services
                                    critical to turn victims of trafficking into survivors.
              
Rescue & Restore has also established national and local coalitions — groups of organizations who have pledged to implement Rescue & Restore awareness and assist campaigns across the country.
Coalition organizations include local governments, labor, immigrant, and women's organizations, nonprofits, and civic groups, and they are always looking to expand their collaborative efforts. If your organization is interested in becoming a member of Rescue & Restore to help educate and provide information about human trafficking, please e-mail trafficking@acf.hhs.gov.

For more information, and to see how you can help, go to the Rescue & Restore Web site at http://archive.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/index.html, or call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-3737-888.

________________________
Josephine B. Robinson
Director
Office of Community Services