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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice


JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES GRANTS TO ASSIST VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Justice Department today announced a nationwide federal effort to assist victims of human trafficking. The Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) recently awarded twelve grants totaling more than $9.5 million under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act Grant Program.

An estimated 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States from other countries each year. Most of these victims are forced into prostitution or otherwise sexually exploited. Trafficking victims may also be forced into domestic servitude, prison-type factory labor or migrant agricultural work.

"Trafficking victims are often poor and disadvantaged, and do not have access to traditional forms of assistance," said OVC Director John W. Gillis. "We will work with our grantees to ensure that these victims are not ignored and that they receive the help they need."

Eight of the grants will support comprehensive services to trafficking victims in a specific state or region. These services will include:

  • emergency medical attention;
  • food and shelter;
  • vocational and English language training;
  • mental healthy counseling; and,
  • legal support.

The grantees will also educate local victim service providers on the needs of trafficking victims and develop training materials that can be used nationally.

Three of the grants will support specialized services to trafficking victims in larger multi-state areas. The Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights will provide legal and social services to trafficking victims in eight Midwestern states. The Massachusetts Mental Health Institute Trauma Center will offer psychological assessments and crisis treatment to victims in 15 East Coast states and the District of Columbia. The Salvation Army will establish at least 29 programs nationwide to house and support sex trafficking victims.

OVC also awarded a grant to Safe Horizon, Inc., which will develop and deliver training and technical assistance to other grantees. Last year, OJP's National Institute of Justice (with funding from OVC) awarded a grant to Caliber Associates to conduct an evaluation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act Grant Program.

The complete list grantees includes:

Comprehensive Services:

-Little Tokyo Service Center; Los Angeles, California - $583,697

-Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach; San Francisco, California - $532,230

-Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights; Chicago, Illinois - $673,568

-International Rescue Committee; New York, New York - $935,285 (To be used in Arizona)

-International Rescue Committee; New York, New York - $1,731,660 (To be used in Florida)

-East Dallas Counseling Center, Inc.; Dallas, Texas - $799,586

-YMCA International Services; Houston, Texas - $529,927

-Boat People, S.O.S.; Falls Church, Virginia - $1,896,535

Supplemental/Specialized Services:

-Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights; Chicago, Illinois - $490,829

-Massachusetts Mental Health Institute Trauma Center; Boston, Massachusetts - $859,987

-Salvation Army National Corporation; Alexandria, Virginia - $282,846

-Safe Horizon, Inc.; New York, New York - $200,000

More information on the Trafficking Victims Protection Act Grant Program, as well as information about other OVC programs, publications and conferences are available through the OJP Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc and from the Resource Center at 1-800-627-6872.



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