United Against Labor Trafficking: Spotlight on Organizations Leading the Charge
Labor trafficking is defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.”
Anyone can be affected by labor trafficking—including children. Companies and their contractors that unlawfully employ children hurt vulnerable communities, undercut labor standards for all workers and, in some cases, create the demand that gives rise to human trafficking. Addressing child labor exploitation and child trafficking is critical to advancing the health, education and well-being of children and families in the United States.
OJP, through its Office for Victims of Crime, is dedicated to combating these crimes and addressing the needs of victims. As the largest federal funder of victim services for survivors of human trafficking, OVC has worked across government and with the anti-trafficking field for over 20 years to strengthen the:
- identification of victims of human trafficking;
- enforcement of human trafficking victims’ rights;
- access to services through victim-centered and trauma-informed programs, policies, and resources; and
- justice, access, and empowerment for all survivors of human trafficking.
As we recognize Human Trafficking Prevention Month, learn more about OJP-funded programs working to eradicate child labor trafficking.
Gulfcoast Legal Services
Gulfcoast Legal Services is a non-profit legal aid organization in the Tampa Bay region of Florida that provides free legal services to community members. Many of their clients include young children who are labor trafficking survivors. GLS provides comprehensive legal representation and wraparound services and its Anti-Human Trafficking Team leads informational trainings to various organizations, including government agencies, victim’s services providers, healthcare providers and law enforcement and community agencies that are designed to increase the understanding of human trafficking, relevant laws and available resources for survivors.
Ayuda provides legal, social and language access services to thousands of low-income immigrants in DC, Maryland and Virginia, including immigrant survivors of human trafficking. Serving men, women and children throughout the mid-Atlantic region, Ayuda offers a helping hand to child immigrant survivors of labor trafficking. Their survivor-centered and trauma-informed approach offers survivors essential tools they can use to heal from trauma and rebuild their lives.
Louisiana Child and Youth Trafficking Collaborative
The Louisiana Child and Youth Trafficking Collaborative is a statewide project dedicated to improving outcomes of child and youth victims of human trafficking in Louisiana. Administered by the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Human Trafficking Prevention in partnership with the Louisiana Alliance for Children’s Advocacy Centers, the LCYTC Accessibility Initiative furthers the goals of the project by ensuring all children in Louisiana, regardless of their location or identity, have access to a comprehensive continuum of care.
St. Louis County Special Investigations Unit
The St. Louis County Special Investigations Unit has more than a decade’s worth of experience related to human trafficking across the state of Missouri. The project of the Eastern District of Missouri Human Trafficking Task Force is co-facilitated alongside the International Institute of St. Louis and other partner organizations, including the FBI and the Eastern District of Missouri’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. The collective work of the taskforce is providing a trauma-informed, victim-centered and human rights-based approach to all forms of human trafficking, including child labor trafficking. Identifying and responding to labor trafficking concerns remains one of the core elements of their work, and the taskforce conducts training with the community at large to make them aware of red flags and signaling options.
YMCA of Greater Houston
YMCA of Greater Houston’s Trafficked Persons Assistance Program serves survivors of trafficking regardless of their age, country of origin or type of trafficking experienced. The TPAP staff helps trafficking victims and survivors, young and old, by providing them with resources and donations, providing psycho-education and emotional support and connecting them with medical professionals and lawyers. The team also has a 24/7 emergency response line, with a dedicated staff member always available to respond to emergency trafficking-related calls. TPAP staff also join law enforcement on operations, connecting with victims onsite once undercover officers have identified them and safely drawn them out.
Virginia Department of Law
The Office of the Attorney General is committed to combating all forms of human trafficking in Virginia and is dedicating its resources to reaching and serving victims of labor trafficking, including children. Along with supporting legislation to increase the penalties for traffickers, the office participates in several federal, state and local human trafficking workgroups and task forces. The 100% Business Alliance Against Trafficking is the Attorney General’s newest initiative to combat human trafficking by partnering with business owners. Under this initiative, businesses will train their employees to both recognize the signs of human trafficking as well as how to report human trafficking crimes.