Study of HHS Programs Serving Human Trafficking Victims. Introduction

12/15/2009

In 2006, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with involvement from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), funded an exploratory study to document how HHS programs were currently addressing the needs of international and domestic victims of human trafficking in the United States, with an emphasis on identifying statutory, policy, programmatic, and other barriers to providing effective, comprehensive services to this population and possible promising practices to addressing these challenges. Additionally, the study explored strategies and interventions delivered by non-trafficking specific programs that could have implications for victims of human trafficking; that is, other health and human service programs that may serve this same population and/or populations at risk for human trafficking, or that may otherwise contribute to improving services to victims of human trafficking by providing examples of promising programs and/or services that are applicable to trafficking victims. This final report summarizes key findings from this study.

Presented below is a synthesized review of the current literature on human trafficking into and within the United States. Specifically, this information was extracted from a comprehensive literature review[1] prepared as part of this study on the definition and scope of the problem, victims of the crime, identification of victims, service provision for victims, and the effectiveness of these services.

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