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Assistance for Victims of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the use of force (physical violence or a threat of violence), fraud (a false promise) or coercion (threats) to make someone work against their will, either in commercial sex or any type of labor.

If you believe you are a victim of trafficking, please contact a NYS Regional Service Provider or the National Anti-Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. You can also text “HELP” to 233733 (BeFree).

If you are experiencing an emergency, please contact your local police department or dial 911.

Sex Trafficking

Victims who are sex trafficked are forced to work against their will in commercial sex, which could include: prostitution, escort services, erotic dancing establishments, massage parlors, or pornography.

Many victims are manipulated by someone who presented themselves as a romantic partner, and then asked for them to perform commercial sex. Some individuals may be recruited for a massage parlor job, and then threatened to perform sexual services. Some victims may be tricked into marriage, and then forced into prostitution or domestic work.

Minors who are engaged in commercial sex, or conduct that advances prostitution, meet the criteria for minor sex trafficking without having to establish force, fraud or coercion.

Populations that are discriminated against, such as LGBTQ individuals, are more likely to have struggled to be hired, been bullied or suffered violence, experienced homelessness, and can be particularly vulnerable to trafficking. The history of exclusion, neglect, and abuse create the vulnerability. These vulnerabilities can also exist for People of Color and Minorities.

Labor Trafficking

Labor trafficking can exist in any workplace but is most often found in low-wage industries such as agriculture, construction, factories, domestic work, or in the service industry (hotels, retail, restaurants).

There are factors that make individuals more vulnerable to trafficking. Immigrants, who may be taken advantage of and discriminated against on the basis of language, culture and customs, or lack of legal status, can be particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Typical scenarios include:

  • A new arrival who is told they must work to pay off a debt,
  • A domestic worker whose passport is taken away, and is told they must work, or they will be reported to immigration and be deported,
  • A construction laborer who is told they will be falsely accused of a crime and that the police will arrest them if they do not continue working.

Victim Confirmation for Social and Legal Service Providers, and Law Enforcement

Any established social or legal service provider, or a law enforcement agent, can make a referral to the NYS Victim Confirmation process using the link below.

New York State Human Trafficking Electronic Referral Submission

Confirmed individuals will be referred to Response to Human Trafficking Program (RHTP) or the local Social Services Department.

Services may include case management, shelter/rental assistance, health assessment, medical care, mental health counseling, legal services, food assistance and other identified service needs. Trafficking survivors have likely endured significant, compounding traumas and may need supportive, culturally appropriate, holistic services to aid them in their healing.

Additional Resources and Training

Human Trafficking Handbook — This handbook provides resources to social service professionals, law enforcement liaisons and other advocates who work directly with victims of human trafficking.

If you are interested in additional training on recognizing the signs of human trafficking, or how the New York State Victim Confirmation process works, please contact us at:

NYS Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking

The Interagency Task Force (ITF) on Human Trafficking is co-chaired by the Commissioners of the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance and the Division of Criminal Justice Services. The ITF includes membership from key state agencies who work in the area of human trafficking. It shares best practices on serving vulnerable populations at risk of trafficking, provides education and training to members, coordinates outreach and prevention efforts, and generally supports the efforts of all state agencies involved in the ITF to address human trafficking in New York State.

ITF Posters and Palmcards

ITF Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign: #TruthAboutTrafficking

The Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking has developed a series of graphics aimed at correcting misconceptions about trafficking and information about how to report trafficking cases.

Lodging Facilities Trainings

Pursuant to General Business Law section 205, an approved human trafficking recognition training program utilized by a lodging facility must address the following topics, at a minimum:

  • The nature of human trafficking (labor and sex)
  • How human trafficking is defined in law
  • How to identify victims of human trafficking, and
  • Who to contact, such as the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which connects victims of human trafficking to:
    • Relief and recovery options, and
    • Social and legal services

Lodging facilities that utilize established trainings on human trafficking are encouraged to verify, with their trainers, that the training meets the minimum requirements of General Business Law section 205.

Trainings created and designated by New York State may be used in lieu of or in addition to a lodging facility's training materials.

This page contains links to PDF documents. Download Acrobat Reader to view these documents.

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