National Symposium on the Health Needs of Human Trafficking Victims: Post-Symposium Brief. Human Trafficking and Related Fields

07/15/2009

While human trafficking has an extensive history, the Federal government only recently enacted the TVPA, which established new programs and services for victims of human trafficking. Accordingly, symposium attendees recognized that the anti-trafficking field can learn significant lessons by examining best practices and advances in similar fields, including domestic violence, child sexual abuse, victims of torture, and refugees. Medical providers observed that several best-practice models have been created and implemented in the United States and a number of suggestions presented at the symposium have been successful in other fields.

Social service providers and government representatives also encouraged building coalitions and partnerships between those in the anti-trafficking field and individuals and organizations in related fields in order to share information, ideas, and resources. Anti-trafficking service providers believed services currently are provided within distinct categories in which an individual is treated as a refugee, victim of torture, or victim of human trafficking, as opposed to an approach that is based on a more inclusive, multi-dimensional framework. Attendees felt an integrated, multi-dimensional approach was especially important for law enforcement and prosecutors whose mandates tended to encourage them to investigate and prosecute cases within strictly defined guidelines and parameters. Coalitions and stronger partnerships would assist in creating a multi-dimensional, victim-centered framework of service provision and would help reduce duplication of services. Anti-trafficking representatives from Florida noted they have begun implementing a multi-dimensional framework in their trainings, which has helped service providers from various backgrounds compare and contrast human trafficking needs and services across related fields.

Symposium participants recommended greater collaboration among service providers and agencies in various fields and encouraged improved and increased data collection among government agencies addressing human trafficking.

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