Helsinki Commission Briefing on Rescuing Victims of Human Trafficking
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, chaired by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, will hold a briefing Dec. 1 entitled “Best Practices for Rescuing Trafficking Victims.”
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, authored by Chairman Smith, and its reauthorizations have numerous provisions to ensure that foreign victims trafficked into the United States receive at least the same care as refugees, and that they can apply for a T or a U visa if returning to their home country is too dangerous. However, the numbers of foreign victims found in the United States each year is below the estimated thousands. In 2014 approximately 750 foreign victims were identified, up from 520 in 2013, but still far below suspected numbers. We can do better at identifying foreign victims.
Recent research indicates that more than 80 percent of trafficking victims in the United States have contact with the healthcare system in the course of being trafficked. Some are even brought to the clinic by their trafficker. This hearing is the latest installment in the ongoing TVPA oversight series with a focus on best practice development for identifying--and rescuing--foreign trafficking victims in the U.S. Two foreign-born victims will be sharing insights on what helped them escape, and how doctors could have helped free them sooner.
The following panelists are scheduled to participate:
Panel 1: Survivors
Panel 2: Experts