BENEFITING: Polaris Project
EVENT DATE: Dec 31, 2011
Named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project has been providing a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery since 2002.
Polaris Project is a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of human trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children. We use a holistic strategy, taking what we learn from our work with survivors and using it to guide the creation of long-term solutions. We strive for systemic change by advocating for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline 1.888.3737.888, and providing services to help our clients and all victims of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of "labor or services," such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will. The factors that each of these situations have in common are elements of force, fraud, or coercion that are used to control people. Then, that control is tied to inducing someone into commercial sex acts, or labor or services. Numerous people in the field have summed up the concept of human trafficking as "compelled service." Every year, human traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world, and here in the United States. Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world.
Polaris Project is committed to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery, and to strengthening the anti-trafficking movement through a comprehensive approach.
Polaris Project provides a wide range of social services to survivors of human trafficking including emergency services, comprehensive case management , group therapy, transitional housing, and victim outreach. Dedicated staff members in Washington, D.C. and New Jersey are on call 24/7 to respond to crises and are specifically trained to serve victims of human trafficking.
NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING RESOURCE CENTER
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.
Polaris works to advance state and federal policy related to the crime of human trafficking - creating protections for victims while seeking accountability for human traffickers and others that contribute to human trafficking. The Policy Program tracks, drafts, and analyzes legislation; drafts model laws and guidelines; provides and presents testimony; and engages the public through policy advocacy and grassroots outreach. Our work has helped win passage of key federal legislation and anti-trafficking laws in dozens of states, creating the long-term legal framework necessary to eradicate human trafficking.
TRAINING & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Through the National Training and Technical Assistance Program (NTTAP), we work to ensure the implementation and institutionalization of anti-trafficking efforts. We conduct trainings, offer consultations and technical assistance, develop specialized curricula, and assist task forces, coalitions and advocates with capacity building and sustainability. This includes providing current information on federal and state laws, promising practices, victim identification and assessment and recent human trafficking trends. Our goal is to equip stakeholders with the most comprehensive tools and approaches necessary to enhance community networking, coordination, and response. Practical training and technical assistance are critical in order to improve victim identification and increase prosecutions.
Our direct field experience and knowledge of the U.S. anti-trafficking landscape uniquely positions Polaris Project to provide holistic and in-depth training and technical assistance. The National Training and Technical Assistance Program draws from our expertise gained by operating our direct Client Services Program, U.S. Policy Program, and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Our highly qualified trainers bring diverse expertise and a multidisciplinary perspective to the issue of human trafficking.
Currently, the majority of our anti-trafficking efforts take place in the United States and Japan. However, from 2010 and beyond, Polaris Project is beginning to move forward with an increasingly global focus. In recent years, our program staff have met with foreign delegations representing over 85 countries to provide training, technical assistance, capacity-building, and lessons learned from our work. These meetings also offer a great opportunity to engage in peer-to-peer learning, and to become more familiar with the wide variety of anti-trafficking strategies and effort being implemented throughout the world. To meet an existing need that is regularly expressed by other countries, our first global program will be the development of a national hotline training and technical assistance program, based primarily on our experience operating the national human trafficking hotline for the United States. This program will offer training and consulting services to other countries as they seek to develop and launch similar national human trafficking hotlines. This program is currently in its research, planning, and development phase.