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Anti-Trafficking Program

 
Creating a world where immigrants, refugees, migrants, and people on the move are treated with dignity, respect, welcome and belonging.

—Migration and Refugee Services Vision Statement

In the News

"MRS program looks to empower immigrants to combat human trafficking" -- Catholic News Service, January 24, 2013

"U.S. Bishops bring new weapon to human trafficking fight" -- National Catholic Register, January 28, 2013

Who We Are

The mission of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Anti-Trafficking Program (ATP) is to educate on the scourge of human trafficking as an offense against fundamental dignity of the human person; to advocate for an end to modern day slavery; and to provide training and technical assistance on this issue.


What We Do

Each year, an estimated 17,000 vulnerable men, women and children are trafficked across our borders and then forced into slavery. Many are fleeing terrible situations in their home countries, and come to the United States to find a better life. Unfortunately, the nightmare often begins when they reach our shores.

For over a decade, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been a national leader in advocacy and education to eradicate sex and labor trafficking. For six years, USCCB and our partners provided intensive case management services to victims of human trafficking, assisting more than 2,232 survivors of trafficking and over 500 of their family members. Currently, we are concentrating our efforts on training and technical assistance so that victims can be identified and brought into safety. Hopefully one day, we can eradicate the horrible crime of modern day slavery. 


Current Programs

Dignity of Work:  With HHS Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, ATP has launched the Dignity of Work program to provide employment services to a group of individuals who were not eligible for benefits previously.  This program will serve individuals who are pre-certified or received certification when they were not ready for employment services, and missed out on vital assistance to help them re-enter the legitimate workforce.  The Dignity of Work program currently operates in Los Angeles (CA), Venice (FL), New York (NY), Louisville (KY), Boston (MA), Hartford (CT), and Houston (TX). The Anti-Trafficking Program will be working with our network to provide employment services to individuals in these cities, and as they are identified around the country.

The Amistad Movement: The Amistad Movement is a human trafficking education and awareness campaign for immigrant communities. Through its programming, USCCB has found that immigrants are more vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking because many work in industries that are poorly regulated, such as agricultural, domestic, hospitality, and service. The Anti-Trafficking Program staff trains individuals in these communities to conduct outreach and educate their peers on human trafficking and resources and services available for victims. 

The SHEPHERD Campaign: The SHEPHERD Campaign is a campaign to help Catholics learn more about human trafficking, as well as work with their parish community to address this issue.

After Rescue - Evaluation of Strategies to Integrate Survivors of Trafficking
: In partnership with Georgetown University, Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM), we received funding from the Department of Justice to conduct a 24-month research project to present a profile of survivors of human trafficking and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to stabilize, rehabilitate, and integrate them into the wider American society.  We will be using data from our administration of the national  per capita contract (funded by the U.S. Government's Department of Health and Human Services - HHS), as well collecting original & recent data, including on-site interviews with prior service providers and clients.  The objective of the project is to better our understanding of the characteristics of trafficked victims and the efficacy of different intervention strategies in stabilizing their well-being.


February 8: National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration designated February 8 as an annual day of prayer for survivors and victims of human trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering.

On this day, the USCCB encourages you to host or attend prayer services, to reflect on the experiences of those who have suffered through human trafficking and exploitation. You are invited to pray for the emotional, physical, and spiritual healing, and make a personal commitment to work against human trafficking. Catholics are also encouraged to host awareness-raising events educating their parishes and communities about human trafficking in whichever way they choose, be it a Mass, a film screening, or an information session. In the words of our committee chairman, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S.: "If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference."


How You Can Help

DONATE NOW!

Help us in our fight against human trafficking by making a contribution.  If in New York, Florida, or the District of Columbia, donate online. 

If in another state, please go to the National Catholic Fund for Migration and Refugee Services.

Be Part of the Solution.
Learn More About Human Trafficking:
Click to find out more about the issue of human trafficking and to learn about the Catholic Church's teaching on this subject.  

Learn about our Become a Shepherd program.

Be observant.
Identify victims in your community and respond appropriately. Use our Red Flags and Screening Questions to Identify Victims and then Take Action.     

Spread the word.
Help us distribute posters and other resources in your community.  For resources or to request technical assistance, training or consultancy services, contact Anti-Trafficking Services / 202.541.3357.

Be informed.
Sign up for our mailing list.


MORE INFORMATION

Become a Shepherd Tool Kit
 
CNS article on the Amistad Program
 
Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking
 
How to Help a Trafficking Victim
 
Identifying Trafficking Victims
 
U.S. Bishops Bring New Weapon to Human Trafficking Fight


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