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Bringing the Full Force of HHS to Prevent and End Human Trafficking

Published: July 30, 2018

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Over a three-year period (FY 2015 to FY 2017), HHS assessed the impact of increased coordination of agency-wide responses across sectors inside and outside the agency. HHS decreased compartmentalization of its anti-trafficking efforts which enabled a strategic and comprehensive approach to respond to the Administration’s call to “bring the full force and weight of the federal government to end the horrific practice of human trafficking.”

Comparative 3-Year Period Analysis FY12 - FY14 FY15 - FY17 % Change
Domestic Victims of Trafficking Assisted 0 1,140 N/A
Foreign National Adults and Minors Certified as Victims 1,737 2,592 +49%
Foreign National Victims & Qualified Family Members Assisted 2,814 4,681 + 66%
Potential Victims Identified by Local R&R/LBS Partners 2,533 6,855 + 171%
Potential Trafficking Cases Identified by the National Hotline 14,972 21,509 + 44%
National Hotline Calls Received Directly from Trafficking Victims and Survivors 5,753 12,721 + 121%
Local TVAP Partners Assisting Trafficking Victims 153 177 + 16%
Local TVAP Cities Assisting Trafficking Victims 67 99 + 48%

Congress appropriated funding to HHS to assist domestic victims of human trafficking for the first time in FY14. HHS assisted 163 victims in 2015, 341 victims in 2016, and 636 victims in 2017 (a 290% increase over three years). HHS also integrated anti-trafficking efforts in child welfare, runaway and homeless youth, domestic violence, Native American, health and behavioral health programs during that period to strengthen protections for domestic victims of trafficking and prevention for high-risk populations.

Prior to FY15, research indicated that 50-88% of trafficking victims saw one or more health care provider while trafficked, yet none were identified as victims. This represented a missed opportunity to help victims escape from human trafficking and for health care providers to prevent re-victimization. HHS increased partnerships within the department to more fully leverage the health and public health systems of care to close this gap. HHS partnerships piloted and then expanded accredited trainings for health care providers and strengthened data collection and program assessments.

In FY17, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported that engagement with the healthcare sector was the third most likely way for victims of trafficking to seek help from the Hotline, after engagement with friends and family and law enforcement. Since launching the HHS SOAR to Health and Wellness training program in FY14, a higher proportion of calls into the Hotline were from health care providers seeking to connect victims to services and assistance. While the total number of trafficking-related calls increased by 54% from FY14 to FY17, the total number of trafficking-related calls from health care providers increased by 171% during that same time period.

Last Reviewed: July 30, 2018

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