Assistance for Victims of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is the modern day form of slavery. Victims are trafficked into the United States from all over the world and forced to work against their will, often in prostitution, massage parlors and escort services, erotic dancing establishments, pornography, and sweatshops/factories. Human trafficking has even been found to exist in legitimate industries such as agriculture, construction, domestic work, hotels, restaurants, and many other enterprises. Some are forced, tricked, or coerced into marriage; others into begging and peddling. Human trafficking victims often suffer physical and psychological abuse at the hands of their traffickers, resulting in health problems, mental illness, and addiction. The need for assistance and treatment among victims is great.
Help for Victims of Human Trafficking
If you are a victim of human trafficking, you are eligible for services in New York State that will assist with shelter, food, medical care, protection and legal assistance. If you are a victim of human trafficking and an immigrant, you are eligible to such services as well as help from the federal government with adjusting your immigration status. If you are a US Citizen, or a child of one, you may be eligible for Public Assistance Benefits.
There are providers in New York State that will help victims of human trafficking become secure, independent individuals. View list of New York State Human Trafficking Providers. Outside of New York State, victims are encouraged to call the Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888, which will help with locating resources within your community.
If you are experiencing an emergency, please contact your local police department or dial 911.
New York State Response to Human Trafficking
The crime of human trafficking, modern-day slavery, is astounding in its breadth and in the depth of need it creates for victims. Under New York State Social Services Law, trafficking is an act of forced labor or sexual servitude under specific means, for the benefit of the perpetrator.
To address the service needs of victims, OTDA created the Response to Human Trafficking Program (RHTP), which provides a coordinated community-based approach and comprehensive case management for eligible trafficking victims confirmed by the state confirmation process. View NYS RHTP Report
Assistance for Law Enforcement
The RHTP service system can assist local law enforcement in their pursuit of prosecutions of traffickers while also providing victims with the support necessary to regain their lives and return home and/or seek lawful immigration status in the U.S.
OTDA works closely with our partner agency Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to train local law enforcement and assist on investigations and prosecutions.
Interagency Task Force
The Interagency Task Force (ITF) on Human Trafficking services subcommittee chaired by OTDA continues to examine ways to improve protection and services to trafficked persons, including dialogue with frontline agencies such as the State Police and the Department of Labor on safe recovery of trafficking victims. OTDA is collaborating with ITF members on integrating trafficking topics into events that highlight vulnerable populations, such as Crime Victims Week and Domestic Violence Awareness month. Read Interagency Task Force Report
Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking
OTDA and DCJS have created an Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking to gather input from over 30 nongovernmental agencies representative of groups across New York State. The purpose of the committee is create an arena to share best practices, common concerns and available resources across the state as related to human trafficking in the state and to provide an environment to consistently evaluate and provide feedback regarding the legislation itself and the implementation of that legislation. See Advisory Committee Members
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