The Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) is focused on preventing human trafficking and working to ensure that children and adults who have experienced trafficking and their families get the support and care they need to live safe and healthy lives. This focus remains the same during responses to public health emergencies such as COVID-19. As in times of disaster response, we recognize that disruptions to local services, housing and economic stability, and social disconnection can further increase risk of victimization and exploitation.
OTIP continues to work diligently to assist individuals, families, and communities impacted by human trafficking in a timely manner. What challenges are you experiencing? We want to hear from survivors; state, tribal, and local leaders; faith-based and community organizations; health care providers; and other stakeholders so we can best meet shifting needs at the local level. Please email EndTrafficking@acf.hhs.gov or call 1-866-401-5510 to contribute information, and continue to check this page for available resources and services.
The following benefits and services continue to operate normally:
If you have difficulty accessing benefits and services through providers supported by OTIP, email EndTrafficking@acf.hhs.gov or call 1-866-401-5510.
National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH)
Contact the NHTH to get help or report potential trafficking. Learn more about NHTH, or visit the NHTH website Visit disclaimer page for information on human trafficking and to find local resources Visit disclaimer page .
Text 233733 (BEFREE)
Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking Program (DVHT)
The DVHT program provides comprehensive case management, direct services, and referrals to services for domestic victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (TVAP)
TVAP provides comprehensive case management services to foreign national victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons who have received an HHS Certification Letter or Eligibility Letter. For more information on the TVAP or to learn how to become a TVAP partner, contact the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) Visit disclaimer page :
Eligibility Letters for Foreign National Minor Victims of Trafficking
Foreign national minors in the U.S. who have been subjected to a severe form of trafficking in persons are eligible to apply for benefits to the same extent as a refugee as well as comprehensive case management services. If you are working with a foreign national minor and have concerns that they may have experienced forced labor or commercial sex, submit a referral through the OTIP Shepherd Case Management System Visit disclaimer page . For questions about benefits or submitting a referral:
Certification Letters for Foreign National Adult Victims of Trafficking
Foreign national adults in the U.S. who have been subjected to a severe form of trafficking in persons and received a T visa or Continued Presence status from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are eligible to apply for benefits to the same extent as a refugee. Adult survivors of trafficking who are seeking or have received HHS Certification can access comprehensive case management services. For questions about the Adult Certification process or to request a Certification Letter on behalf of a foreign national adult:
Resources to Address Challenges Related to COVID-19
OTIP compiled a list of challenges we have heard about from our stakeholders along with federal, state, and local resources to help. We will update the list on a continual basis as we learn more. If you encounter additional challenges or have resources to share, email OTIP at EndTrafficking@acf.hhs.gov or call 1-866-401-5510.
Caregiver and Household Resources
Housing, Shelters and Transitional Living Programs
ACF Children’s Bureau: Housing Support When Universities, Colleges Close Due to COVID-19
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: Coronavirus Guidance for Congregate Living Facilities (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
Seattle & King County Public Heath: Sanitation and Hygiene Guide for Homeless Service Providers Visit disclaimer page
Seattle & King County Public Heath: Stop Germs, Stay Healthy! Flyer – Available in 22 Languages
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness: Supporting Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness during the COVID-19 Outbreak: Questions to Consider Visit disclaimer page
National Health Care for the Homeless Council: Shelter Health: Essentials of Care for People Living in Shelter (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
Polaris Project: Crisis in Human Trafficking During the Pandemic Report (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
Addressing Social Stigma
Child Care Alternatives
- ACF Office of Child Care: COVID-19 Resources
- CDC: Checklist for Parents: Get Your Children Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Visit disclaimer page
- Child Care Aware of America: The Latest Coronavirus News & Resources for Child Care Professionals, Families, and Policymakers Visit disclaimer page
- Child Care Aware of North Dakota: Create a Backup Child Care Plan
- ASPE: Emergency Paid Family Leave Visit disclaimer page
Access to Detox Services, Medication Assisted Treatment, and Other Substance Use Support Programs
- SAMHSA: Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) Guidance – Issued March 16, 2020
- SAMHSA: Use of Telemedicine While Providing Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- SAMHSA: Disaster Planning Handbook for Behavioral Health Treatment Programs Visit disclaimer page
- USDA: FNS Response to COVID-19
- SNAP – Emergency Allotments
- SNAP – Waiver on Time Limit for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents
- WIC – Food Package Substitution Waiver
- WIC and Food Distribution Programs FAQ Visit disclaimer page
Economic Impact Payments
Human Trafficking and Disaster Management
- ASPR: Preventing Human Trafficking Infographic (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- ASPR: Preventing Human Trafficking Infographic
- NCMEC: Safety Tips for Families (resources in English and Spanish) Visit disclaimer page
- City of Houston: Emergency Disaster Response Toolkit Visit disclaimer page
- National Human Trafficking Hotline Flyer Visit disclaimer page
- SOAR to Health and Wellness Online Training Modules Visit disclaimer page
Grant and Program Administration
- OTIP: Letter to Grantees — COVID-19 Guidance
- OTIP: COVID-19 FAQ Part 1 — Grant Administration
- OTIP: COVID-19 FAQ Part 2 — Program Administration
Remote Case Management
- HRSA: National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers – Tools & Resources
National Network to End Domestic Violence: Using Technology to Communicate with Survivors During a Public Health Crisis Visit disclaimer page
- The International Rescue Committee: Multilingual Resources on COVID-19 Visit disclaimer page
- ASPE: Virtual Case Management in Human Services Programs Visit disclaimer page
Self-Care and Supporting Frontline Staff
Harvard Business Review: A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers – March 18, 2020
Benefits and Services for Foreign National Victims of Trafficking
- PL 20-03 (PDF): COVID-19 Extended Assistance for ORR Populations
- Extends the RCA and RMA eligibility period up to eighteen months for clients who became eligible on or after April 1, 2019, with additional months not extending beyond September 30, 2020.
- PL 20-04 (PDF): Assistance for ORR Populations Affected by COVID-19
- Authorizes the use of various waiver requests for flexibilities such as verbal declarations of eligibility, RCA requirement for employability services if web-based services are unavailable, RCA income eligibility determinations, RSS funding for emergency and other assistance, such as equipment and supplies, extended RSS eligibility period, extension of the 90-day Refugee Medical Screening, and others.
Availability of Benefit-Issuing Agencies
Citizenship and Immigration Services
- USCIS: Response to Coronavirus 2019 Visit disclaimer page
- USCIS update: Beginning June 4, 2020, certain USCIS field offices and asylum offices will resume non-emergency face-to-face services to the public. Application support centers will resume services later. USCIS has enacted precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in reopened facilities. For more information, please see the USCIS web alert Visit disclaimer page and office closures page.