Survivors of Trafficking and Employment Services

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From National Human Trafficking Resource Center

Survivors of trafficking present unique barriers to employment.

Here are tips, resources and examples to help you provide more effective – and less stressful – employment services to survivors of trafficking.

Thanks to Higher Peer Advisor David Roth, Job Development with Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) and Maja Hasic, Program Director of Tapestri for contributing to this post and starting the discussion on which it is based.

1.  Employers don’t need to know.  You do. 

Employers are not allowed to ask – nor do they need to know – about the trafficking incident.  You DO need to know enough details to be sure that a placement and your job readiness activities do not cause harm.  Know your agency confidentiality policies and collaborate closely with case managers.

For example, placing a client who was forced into domestic servitude in a housekeeping or nanny job could damage the client’s recovery and the employer relationship.

2.  Be sure trafficking survivors  know their rights and understand your processes up front. 

The majority of survivors of trafficking experience some form of forced labor situation. Contracts (paperwork), mis-information and intimidation are very common tactics to entrap and keep trafficked persons in the situation.

Think about how you could ease into required paperwork with more thorough introductions and explanations.  Firing off questions and writing down answers can look very similar to entrapment tactics many survivors of trafficking experience.

Trafficked clients, especially, should be briefed about U.S. employment laws and the fact that they can choose to leave their job if they are unsatisfied with the treatment they receive.

3.  Know where to learn more and find resources. 
  • U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report includes a very thorough introductory section vailable in Arabic,Spanish and French:  Click here.
  • ORR & Human Trafficking is a gateway page to great information and resources, including the next two listed below: Click here
  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center provides callers with crisis intervention, tip reporting, comprehensive services, anti-trafficking resources and referrals:  Click here.
  • Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Campaign offers free awareness materials in a number of languages: Click here. 
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