Connecting Trafficked Persons with Services

It may not be possible for you or your agency to provide all of the services a trafficked person needs — you may need to refer them to another agency.

However, not all service providers and agencies are familiar with or experienced in working with a trafficked person. Also, each agency will have different eligibility criteria.

Some agencies, such as primary health services, are barrier-free and can be accessed by anyone in need, but others have restrictions on whom they can serve.

Before making a referral, you may want to contact the agency or service provider (with the trafficked person’s consent) to confirm that they have the ability and capacity to help. You can do this without giving out the trafficked person’s name or other identifying information.

For example, you might want to ask:

  • Is the service provider willing and able to assist a person who may have been trafficked?
  • Is the service provider familiar with the dynamics of human trafficking? If not, you can offer to support them when working with the trafficked person. (You might also suggest they take this online course.)
  • Is the service provider sensitive to a trafficked person’s needs?
  • Can the service provider offer culturally appropriate services, such as food, if necessary?
  • Can the service provider offer or arrange interpretation services, if necessary?

Ideally, one service provider will work with a trafficked person throughout their recovery process, providing support and coordinating services.

Case management has emerged as the best practice for coordinating the social, legal, medical, mental health, immigration and criminal justice aspects of human trafficking cases in a way that keeps the focus on the survivors and their needs. It is critical to the process, but also to the survivor, to have one consistent person who is the conduit to all services and the point person for all systems involved.

– Florrie Burke, Co-Chair of Freedom Network USA


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