USCRI Opening Statement on Human Trafficking Awareness Month
January 3, 2020
As a society, we often believe that trafficking only takes place in sordid hotel rooms or the backend of a massage parlor. While this can be true, the broader truth is that human trafficking largely happens in plain sight. It’s in our restaurants, nail salons, construction sites, and private homes. It’s right in front of us, and yet it consistently fades into the background. For this reason, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) is launching the campaign “Seeing Trafficking in 2020, Bringing Survivors into Focus” during Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Through this campaign, USCRI aims to dispel the myths that surround human trafficking by showcasing the journeys of survivors in three different phases of their experience: grooming, trafficking, and recovery. These stories will demonstrate that survivors encompass a diverse population, transcending race, gender identify, sexual orientation, class, immigration status, and more. USCRI wishes to bring awareness to the different types of trafficking, and the resources available to those in need.
At the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, we are dedicated to uplifting these vulnerable groups, specifically foreign nationals who face additional barriers in the U.S. We do this through the Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (TVAP) and Project TRUST (Trauma Response to Uplift Survivors of Trafficking). TVAP is a nation-wide program that offers case management and financial assistance to foreign national survivors of human trafficking. Project TRUST offers training and technical assistance to organizations that serve human trafficking populations. Together, TVAP and Project TRUST have served 918 survivors and provided training and assistance to 253 social service organizations across the U.S. and its territories. Through this campaign, we hope to increase awareness of human trafficking and serve more survivors in the upcoming years.
USCRI reaffirms that a survivor can be anyone, regardless of gender identity, physical and/or mental ability, sexual orientation, race, citizenship status, or religion. We hope you join us on this journey to focus on survivors of trafficking in 2020 by following our social media pages. USCRI pledges that as we move into the new year and new decade, we will continue to advocate for and support survivors.
President and CEO