Intersection of Human Trafficking & Child Welfare

Human Trafficking
Basics of Trafficking
Response to Human Trafficking
 International
 UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
(Protocol on Human Trafficking)
 National
 Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA)
 New York State
 NYS Human Trafficking Law
Elements of Human Trafficking
(specific acts in NYS PL)
Source: Freedom Network Training Institute
For the purposes of
Involuntary Servitude
Debt Bondage
Commercial Sex Acts
TVPA & Subsequent Reauthorizations
 Federal law passed in 2000
 Focus on prevention, protection, and prosecution
 A person who is trafficked is considered a victim of a
serious crime under US law and has the right to
protection and assistance.
 The TVPRA builds upon these efforts and attempts
to remove “unintended obstacles.”
NYS Human Trafficking Law
 Crimes
 Class B felony for sex trafficking
 Class D felony for labor trafficking
 Felony for charges for “Prostitution Tourism”
 Services
 Provides victims with basic services
 Inter Agency Coordination
 Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking
Sex Trafficking- NYS Definition
 Profiting from prostitution by:
providing drugs;
 using false or misleading statements;
 withholding or destroying government documents;
 debt servicing;
 force;
 a plan or pattern of coercive conduct; OR
 other acts.
Labor Trafficking- NYS Definition
 Compelling or inducing another to engage in labor,
or recruiting, enticing, harboring or transporting
another by:
 providing drugs;
 withholding or destroying government
 debt servicing;
 force; OR
 a plan or pattern of coercive conduct.
Trafficking Power & Control Wheel
NYS Anti-trafficking Law Implementation
 In January 2009, NYS OCFS and OTDA jointly
issued OTDA 09-ADM-01/09-OCFS-ADM-01 New
York State Anti-Trafficking Statute, which gives
policy and procedural guidelines to LDSSs
regarding Human Trafficking.
Human Trafficking Liaisons
Providing assistance to minor victims
Determining eligibility for assistance for state-confirmed
Facilitating services through RHTPs for foreign victims
Reporting to the NYS Anti-Trafficking Program Coordinator
Safe Harbour for Exploited Youth Act
 Effective April 1, 2010.
 Creates a presumption that a person under 16 who is
charged as a JD for a prostitution offence is a severely
trafficked person.
Requires the court to proceed with a PINS petition,
rather than JD petition.
In certain circumstances the court has discretion to
continue with the JD petition.
Court can convert a PINS to a JD petition if youth is
out of compliance with court orders.
If funded, short-term services provided by LDSSs
(more on this later)
Myths & Misconceptions
 Trafficking victims have to be foreign nationals.
 Trafficking requires an international or state border
 Trafficking victims must be kidnapped and/or
restrained physically.
 If a victim consented prior to abuse or was paid, then
it is not trafficking.
Smuggling vs. Trafficking
 Smuggling entails:
A facilitated entry
Element of consent
Violation of immigration law but not necessarily a human
rights violation
Intersection of Human
Trafficking & Child Welfare
Do you know Lacy?
Human Trafficking of Children/Youth
 Minor Victim Human Trafficking
 When the human trafficking victim is under 18 years old.
 Sex Trafficking, Labor Trafficking or Domestic Servitude
 U.S. Citizens, legal permanent residents, or undocumented
 Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
 When a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident victim under
18 years old is engaged in a commercial sex act.
Commercial sex act is any sex act on account of which anything of
value is given to or received by a person. This includes:
 Prostitution,
 Exotic dancing/stripping, or
 Pornography.
Quick Facts on Trafficking
 More than 80% of trafficking victims are female
and over 50% are children.
 The average entry age for prostitution in the U.S. is
now 13.
 Estimates of domestic minors involved in sex
trafficking range from 100,000 to 300,000.
Domestic Minor Trafficking
• Who are the victims of domestic
minor trafficking?
 Youth of any ethnicity, race, or religion.
 Youth of any socio-economic class.
 Female, male, and transgender youth.
 Youth of all ages.
 Vulnerable youth.
Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
• Who are especially vulnerable to
domestic minor sex trafficking?
 Youth
with histories of abuse.
 Homeless, or runaway youth.
 Youth within the foster care system, esp. congregate
 LGBTQ youth.
Intersection with Runaway &
Homeless Youth
Runaway & Homeless Youth
 Runaway/ Homeless Youth
According to the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention, 85% of exploited children are missing when exploitation
Pimps and exploiters target youth shelters, group homes, and other
services for homeless youth.
Exploiters offer a place to stay, food, a new pair of jeans, at the least
some attention. Children with no system of support are at high risk
for these methods of seduction, coercion, and recruitment.
 NISMART (National Institute for Missing, Abducted,
Runaway and Throwaway Children) estimates that
1.6 million children run away from home each year and that one out
of every three teens on the street will be lured toward the sex
industry within 48 hours of leaving home.
High Risk Victims
High Risk Victims:
Multiple runaway incidents
4 or more times in 12 month period
Sexually exploited
Age (12 and under)
Time missing (over 1 month)
Repeat victims
Victims of prostitution/trafficking
Defined by the High-Risk Victims & Trafficking Team of the Dallas Police Department, 2006
The Role of Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelters
24/7 Access to safe, comfortable, non-system
location staffed with professional child care
Home like environment, which is crisis free,
positive, stable and typically an anonymous
Immediate access to food, clothing, medical care
and other basic needs.
Ability to establish rapport with caring adults and
aid in coordination of service delivery.
The Role of Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelters
 Therapeutic model of care which promotes:
 Inclusion
 Trauma Informed Approach
 Harm Reduction Strategies
 Positive Youth Development
 Full time Case Managers
 All youth receive a Individual Service Plan
 Meet with Case Manager to develop rapport
 Begin the process of Family Reunification where appropriate
 Access to school
The Role of Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelters
 RHY Shelters can help minor victims by:
 Providing a positive and stabilizing environment.
 Aid in beginning immediate service provision.
 Help with service coordination and after-care support services.
 Build rapport with youth.
 Help youth leave the streets, the lifestyle and see a way to a
brighter future.
Trafficking Recruitment
How do traffickers (pimps) find victims?
 Recruitment
From the street
 Schools
 Shelters, foster homes, group homes, etc
 Malls
 Facebook
 Abduction
 Purchase or trade from another pimp
 Pimps(traffickers) manipulate their victims with an
initial period of false love and feigned affection.
 This period often includes:
Warmth, gifts, compliments, and sexual and physical intimacy
Elaborate promises of a better life, fast money, and future luxuries
Purposeful and pre-meditated targeting of vulnerability (e.g.
runaways, foster care youth)
Purposeful targeting of minors due to naiveté, virginity, and youthful
 This initial period is critical to attaining long-term mind
control over victims.
From Domestic Sex Trafficking: The Criminal Operations of the American Pimp, Polaris Project
 Grooming is a two-stage process prior to
“turning out” a girl.
First, the girl is made to feel attractive and wanted. The
pimp spends money on her and gives her special
 Sex between the pimp and the girl is always part of the
grooming process.
From Domestic Sex Trafficking: The Criminal Operations of the American Pimp, Polaris
 Stage two, the pimp will attempt to break a girl’s will
through physical, sexual and verbal abuse to prepare
her for the “game”.
Often involves gang rape.
Pimp moves her around to break her from family/friend ties.
He was real sweet at first, then he began telling
me, “You can’t stay in this house for free.”
-Sharon, 17 year old
From Domestic Sex Trafficking: The Criminal Operations of the American Pimp, Polaris
Why don’t victims seek help?
 Use and/or threat of violence
 Fear
 Shame
 Self-blame
 Hopelessness
 Dependency
 Victims have become physically, financially, or emotionally
dependent on the trafficker.
 They have bonded with the abuser through traumatic bonding
From “Understanding Victim’s Mindset”. Polaris Project 2006
Why don’t victims seek help?
 Distrust of law enforcement
 False promises
 Victims are promised love, money, safety
 Lack of knowledge of social systems
 Victims don’t know how and where to seek help
 Debt bondage
 Victims are sometimes trapped in never ending cycles of
fabricated debt and are made to believe they cannot leave until
this debt is paid off.
From “Understanding Victim’s Mindset”. Polaris Project 2006
Identification of
Victims/Warning Signs
Identifying Child/Youth Victims
 Child victims of trafficking will usually look like the
children you help every day.
 Children will rarely disclose, or even realize, they are
trafficking victims.
 Many view their trafficker as a boyfriend, and the
process of breaking that bond is time and resource
 Some children may still be under the control of the
pimp/trafficker, even after they are returned to
foster care, a family home or are rescued.
Identifying Child/Youth Victims
 Trafficked children often suffer from depression,
hostility, stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress
disorder, and fear of authority, as well as those who
victimize them.
 Outward symptoms may present as difficult behavior
or resistance to assistance.
 Other physical symptoms may be present, such as
pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and drug
addiction, may mask the fact they have been
Identifying Child/Youth Victims: What to Look For?
 Unexplained absences from
school for a period of time
Chronic running away (from
home or foster care)
Frequent travel to other cities
communication – not allowed
to speak to you alone
Expensive gifts
More than one cell phone
Living in a hotel (has key or
business card)
Suspicious jewelry or tattoo
 Signs of trauma, fatigue,
injuries, abuse or depression
Signs of hunger/
Inappropriately dressed
Fear/mistrust of law
service/CPS workers
Engaged in sexual situations
beyond age-specific norms
Has a noticeably older
“boyfriend” (i.e., 10+ years)
Sources: DCJS (2008); IACP (2006); NHTRC (nd); OSDFS (nd); VIJ (2004)
Identification of Child/Youth Victims
 Due to the covert nature of human trafficking,
victims can come to your attention indirectly
through other means or as a result of another issue,
such as:
Domestic Violence
Drug usage
Runaways and homeless youth
Juvenile Delinquents, Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS)
cases or Foster Care
Cases of sexual abuse or neglect
Child Trafficking Indicator Questions
 Are you in school?
 If you work, what kind of job do you have? How are you
Where do you live? Are you able to leave the
house/apartment whenever you want to?
What are the rules where you live or work?
Tell me about your typical day.
Are you (or were you) hurt?
Were you able to talk to your family and friends? If so,
were you alone?
If from another country, how did you get to the U.S.? Do
you have your documents or does someone else?
Excerpt from Building Child Welfare Response to Child Trafficking, Center for Human Rights for Children,
Loyola University Chicago and International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA)
Why do providers need to know this?
 Service providers who work with children and
youth need to be aware of the signs of human
 If it appears that a child may have been trafficked:
If unsure, you can contact the National Human Trafficking
Resource Center 1-888-373-7888.
If appropriate, a referral should be made to law
enforcement professionals to assess the situation.
 Law
enforcement may refer the child to OTDA for the
confirmation or certification process.
If no “official” referral is made for confirmation or
certification, child may still need services.
Engaging Child/Youth Victims
Things to Consider Before an Interview
 Trafficking victims rarely self-identify as trafficking victims;
usually present with another form of abuse, neglect, or
 Trafficking victims may be fearful of disclosing information
due to threats by trafficker of harm to him/her or his/her
It may take several interviews to establish trust and determine if
someone has been trafficked
If possible, do not take extensive notes during initial interview(s)
 Child’s parent or caregiver may also be the trafficker
 Trafficker may lie and say s/he is a child’s parent or
Source: DCF (nd); UK Home Office (nd)
Tips for Conducting an Interview
 Hold interviews in a private, secure location
 Respect victim’s privacy & confidentiality
 Do not discuss the case with anyone who doesn’t need to know
 Do not expose victim to the media
 Use interpreter(s) when necessary, but screen to ensure that they:
Understand dynamics of trafficking
Are not allied with the trafficker
Understand needs of child victims (if applicable)
 Establish that you do not work for the government/police
 Ensure victim’s cell phone is turned off during the interview (may be
used as a method of control by the trafficker)
 Build rapport before asking about immigration status, sexual
abuse/experiences, or other potentially difficult subjects
 If possible, find out if other victims are being held
Source: DCF (2009); UK Home Office (nd)
Tips For Initial Consultation(s)
 Hold interviews in a private, secure location.
 Establish separation between your shelter/program &
 Respect privacy & confidentiality.
Do not discuss the case with anyone who doesn’t need to
Do not take extensive notes during initial interview(s)
Do not expose victim to the media
 Use interpreter(s) when necessary, but screen to ensure
that they:
Understand dynamics of trafficking & are not allied with the
 Build rapport before asking about immigration status,
sexual abuse/experiences, or other sensitive subjects.
Sources: DCF (nd); UK Home Office (nd)
Child Advocacy Centers
Children’s Advocacy Centers
New York State office of Children
and Family Services
Child Focused Setting
Multidisciplinary Team
Organizational Capacity
Cultural Competency and Diversity
Forensic Interviews
Medical Evaluation
Mental Health
Victim Support and Advocacy
Case Review
Case Tracking
Child Advocacy Centers and
Multidisciplinary Teams
 Mission is to promote and support
communities in providing a coordinated
investigation and comprehensive
response to child victims of abuse
 Primary focus is the child victim & family
 Agencies working together in a coordinated community
response to child abuse
 Physical plant to serve as a neutral facility
 Warm, private, non-threatening environment
Executive Law §642-a provides that, whenever practicable and where one exists, an MDT and/or
a child advocacy center (CAC) shall be used for the investigation and prosecution of child abuse
cases, including sexual abuse, and child deaths. Section 423(6) of the SSL also has provisions
encouraging the use of an MDT for cases involving abuse and the death of a child. Therefore,
although a joint investigation is only required for reports alleging physical and sexual abuse and
reports involving the death of a child, as referenced in SSL § 424(5-a) and (5-b), the use of an
MDT or CAC should still be considered for other types of reports whenever possible.
Social Services Law section 423-a:
5. (a) The files, reports, records, communications, working papers or videotaped interviews used
or developed in providing services under this section are confidential. Provided, however, that
disclosure may be made to members of a multidisciplinary investigative team who are engaged
in the investigation of a particular case and who need access to the information in order to
perform their duties for purposes consistent with this section and to other employees of a child
advocacy center who are involved in tracking cases for the child advocacy center. Disclosure
shall also be made for the purpose of investigation, prosecution and/or adjudication in any
relevant court proceeding or, upon written release by any non-offending parent, for the purpose
of counseling for the child victim.
(b) Any public or private department, agency or organization may share with a child advocacy
center information that is made confidential by law when it is needed to provide or secure
services pursuant to this section. Confidential information shared with or provided to a center
remains the property of the providing organization.
1: Child Focused Setting
 Standard: A Child
focused setting is
comfortable, private,
and both physically and
psychologically safe for
diverse populations of
children and their nonoffending family
2. Multidisciplinary Team
 Standard: A multidisciplinary team for response to
child abuse allegations includes representation from
the following:
law enforcement
child protective services
mental health
victim advocacy
children’s advocacy center
3. Organizational Capacity
 Standard: A designated legal entity responsible for
program and fiscal operations has been established
and implements basic sound administrative
4. Cultural Competency & Diversity
• Standard: Cultural competent services
are routinely made available to all CAC
clients and coordinated with the
multidisciplinary team response.
5. Forensic Interviews
Standard: Forensic interviews are conducted in a
manner that is legally sound, of a neutral, fact
finding nature, and are coordinated to avoid
duplicative interviewing.
6. Medical Evaluation
 Standard: Specialized medical evaluation and
treatment services are routinely made available to all
CAC clients and coordinated with the
multidisciplinary team response.
7. Mental Health
 Standard: Specialized trauma-focused mental
health services, designed to meet the unique needs of
the child and non-offending family members, are
routinely made available as part of the
multidisciplinary team response.
8. Victim Support & Advocacy
 Standard: Victim support and advocacy services are
routinely made available to all CAC clients and their
non-offending family members as part of the
multidisciplinary team response.
9. Case Review
 Standard: A formal process in which
multidisciplinary discussion and information sharing
regarding the investigation, case status and services
needed by the child and family is to occur on a
 Standard:
Children’s Advocacy
Centers must
develop and
implement a system
for monitoring case
progress and
tracking case
outcomes for all
MDT components.
Child Focused Setting
Child-Friendly Facility
Cultural Competency
Forensic Interviews& Diversity
Organizational Capacity
Multidisciplinary Team
CACs & Human Trafficking Victims
 CACs already sometimes see child trafficking victims
before anyone is aware they are a trafficking victim.
 How might CACs be used for child human trafficking
 What are the benefits of using a multidisciplinary
approach with human trafficking victims?
 What are the benefits of using a CAC with a child
trafficking victim?
Referral process in NYS
How to access services under the NYS law?
Trafficked Person Identified
Law Enforcement Agency or
Determines person
“reasonably appears”
to be trafficked &
makes referral
Confirmation/Certification as Victim
 Referrals to OTDA and DCJS are made by law
Confirmation as a victim of human trafficking. (State law)
Certification as a victim of severe form of trafficking in
persons. (Federal law)
o DCJS and OTDA decide whether to confirm the
referred person as a victim of human trafficking under
the state law.
o Meanwhile, if appropriate, OTDA can work with the
provider or law enforcement agent to have the victim
certified under the federal TVPA.
Trafficking Referrals – Who Goes Where?
 Adults:
 referred to Local Departments of Social Services (LDSS) if
“otherwise eligible”
 referred to Response to Human Trafficking Program (RHTP)
if “ineligible”
 Minors:
 referred to LDSS regardless of status
 if unaccompanied, referred to URM Program
Services for Domestic Trafficked Persons (LDSS)
 Victim assistance and compensation
 Public assistance
 Emergency shelter
 Public housing
 Substance abuse and mental health services
(SAMHSA programs)
 Health resources and services (HRSA programs)
 One-stop career centers & Job Corps
Services for Foreign Nationals
 Services for foreign-national victims who are
“ineligible” for other services (RHTP)
Case management
Health assessment
Medical care (including prescriptions)
Mental health counseling
Legal services
Other identified service needs
Potential Immigration Relief for Victims
 T Visa
Is or has been victim of severe form of trafficking in persons
Has complied with reasonable request for assistance in investigation or
prosecution of acts of trafficking
Children under 18 do not need to meet this criterion
 Exceptions (emotional hardship)
 U Visa
 Provides immigration relief to victims of certain criminal
activity who suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a
result and who have been or are likely to be helpful to law
Services for Minor Victims
 Once notification has occurred, the LDSS must
assess eligibility as soon as possible and provide
services or make referrals for services.
 OCFS works as a liaison with the LDSS during the
assessment process.
 Assessment if placement is needed.
Foster Care
 Person In Need of Supervision (PINS)
 Runaway & homeless youth agencies/transitional
independent living programs
 Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program (URM)
Services for Minors
 What is the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor
The Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) Program provides
specialized resettlement and foster care services for
unaccompanied youth, including trafficked minors.
URM services are provided nationally by two voluntary
agencies: Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS),
and the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS).
Challenges in New York State
Challenges in NYS
 Understanding and addressing the problem.
Difficult to identify victims.
Cooperation of victims difficult to obtain
Victim may try to protect the pimp/trafficker from authorities.
Lack of public knowledge/prevention programs
Varying law enforcement knowledge and sensitivity to the issue.
Child welfare providers need to understand the issue and recognize
No reliable stats to determine the extent of the problem.
Access to safe and appropriate residential services/funding for
Jurisdiction issues with trafficking between states, esp. with varying
state laws.
Challenges-Identification of Victims
 Victim Identification Challenges
 Lack of public awareness.
 Widespread myths and misconceptions about the definition.
 Victims that do not self-identify.
 Human trafficking is a hidden crime.
 Victims cannot or will not leave a trafficking situation for
many reasons.
Challenges-Referrals for Services
 The Anti-Trafficking law requires the
referral to come from law enforcement or
district attorney offices for the
confirmation/certification process.
 What if the victim doesn’t want to be
referred through law enforcement?
 Can’t
go through the “official” confirmation or
certification process.
Challenges-Services for Victims
 If no official confirmation/certification:
 Can contact the National Human
Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) 1888-373-7888 or
[email protected] for
Provide information
Provide resources
Make referrals for services
Keep human trafficking statistical information
• Can also contact either OCFS or OTDA.
• Victims may still receive services.
Safe Harbour Funding Project
 OCFS received $1.5 million for services or expenses
for sexually exploited children.
Portion is being used for training for subset of LDSS & agency
staff that provide direct services for high-risk youth
Development of screening & assessment tools
Data driven evaluation of outcomes & impact
 Lessons learned from project will assist with future statewide
Portion is allocated to the target LDSSs for development of
services in their counties.
Need to submit of plan to OCFS
Future Plans
 In conjunction with the Safe Harbour project, OCFS
has plans to do the following:
Issue best practice guidance policy
Develop a webpage on human trafficking
Provide resource information
Continue to provide training in the community
Continue to be involved in statewide and local taskforces
Importance of Prevention
 Education of youth about human trafficking.
 What it is?
 How runaway and homeless youth may be more vulnerable.
 Ways in which youth may be lured in.
 What can they do if they find themselves in a trafficking
 Careful transition planning when they leave the shelter.
 Importance of a support system.
Transition Planning
 Let’s talk a little more about transition planning for
prevention of child trafficking:
educating youth about healthy relationships and a healthy
discuss the importance of education and employment to better
support themselves
encouraging youth to always have a “backup plan” for housing
be careful of offers of free housing- why are they offering?
teaching harm reduction techniques (e.g., safe sex)
encourage developing supports- who can they turn to in times
of need?
discuss what to do in an emergency situation
Minor Victims or Questions on Trafficking:
Lynn Baniak, Policy Analyst
NYS Office of Children & Family
Services (OCFS)
(518) 474-9435 or
[email protected]
All Victims or Questions on Trafficking:
Christa Stewart, Esq.
NYS Anti-Trafficking Program Coordinator
NYS Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance (OTDA)
(212) 961-5688 or
[email protected] or
Erika Hague, Response to Human Trafficking Program Manager
[email protected]
Questions on RHY and Trafficking:
Andy Gilpin
Director of Program Services
CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services
5 Municipal Plaza, Suite 3
Clifton Park, NY 12065
(518) 371-1185 or
[email protected]
Questions on CAC/MDTs:
Melaney Szklenka
Program Manager
NYS Office of Children & Family Services
(518) 486-7674 or
[email protected] or
Tom Hess, Manager
(518) 474-9441 or
[email protected]
 General Trafficking Questions:
National Human Trafficking Resource Center
1-888-373-7888 or [email protected]
 09-OCFS-ADM-01 New York State Anti-
Trafficking Statute
 Building Child Welfare Response to Child
Trafficking, Center for the Human Rights for Children,
Loyola University of Chicago, & International Organization for
Adolescents (2011).

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