Victim Identification and Public Awareness
Rescue and Restore Campaign
ATIP leads the HHS Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking 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 & Restore Regional Program
The Rescue & Restore Regional Program funds local organizations to serve as the focal points for regional outreach and response to foreign victims of human trafficking in need of protection and assistance. Each Rescue & Restore Regional partner oversees and builds the capacity of a local anti-trafficking network to better identify and work with victims, encouraging a cohesive and collaborative approach. The Rescue & Restore Regional Program has four objectives:
- To identify foreign victims of trafficking and refer them to service delivery systems;
- To lead or actively participate in a community-led effort (“coalition”) to bring together and leverage local resources to address human trafficking in a region;
- To build local capacity by providing training and technical assistance on human trafficking to local organizations that are not involved in the coalition; and
- To educate the public about the dangers of human trafficking, possible indicators of sex and labor trafficking, and the protections available to victims.
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.
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.
Trafficking Victim Assistance Program
The National Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program provides funding for comprehensive case management services on a per capita basis to foreign victims of trafficking and potential victims seeking HHS Certification in any location in the United States. The grantees provide case management to assist a victim of trafficking to become certified, and other necessary services after Certification, through a network of sub-awardees in locations throughout the country.
These grants ensure the provision of case management, referrals, and emergency assistance (such as food, clothing, and shelter) to victims of human trafficking and certain family members. They help them gain access to housing, employability services, mental health screening and therapy, medical care, and some legal services, enabling them to live free of violence and exploitation.
The trafficking victim services grantees, and the regions in which they or their partners provide services, are as follows:
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI): HHS Regions 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10;
- Heartland Human Care Services: HHS Regions 1, 2 and 5; and
- Tapestri, Inc.: HHS Region 4.