OTDA Home Programs & Services Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Trafficking

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 for 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 and can connect with a Human Trafficking Liaison.

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. View Human Trafficking publication(s).

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. Any law enforcement agent can make a referral for services if he or she believes a person to be trafficked.

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. The RHTP also provides support for local task force development and community education. If you are interested in training, please contact us.

View NYS RHTP Providers

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 is co-chaired by the Commissioner of OTDA. The Task Force continues to meet and share best practices on serving vulnerable populations at risk of trafficking. As part of Human Trafficking awareness month, the Task Force released a poster to heighten awareness among the general public. View Human Trafficking Poster.


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