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 are experiencing an emergency, please contact your local police department or dial 911.
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 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NYS Interagency Taskforce 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
- View the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking Poster
- View the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking Palm Card
- View the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) Hotline Poster
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.
- Please help spread this message by sharing these graphics on social media with the hashtag, #TruthAboutTrafficking.
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.