Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $600,000)
Pacific Ombudsman for Humanitarian Law (POHL) is the lead human trafficking pro bono legal service provider in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the surrounding region. POHL’s office in Chalan Kanoa serves as a first point of contact for many victims and POHL actively engages with victims to determine what legal options are best for each respectively. Project funds will be used to: (1) expand the availability of POHL’s bilingual legal assistance by hiring an additional bilingual paralegal and increasing access to bilingual paralegals for the anticipated number of victims seeking assistance; (2) train POHL frontline personnel regarding a comprehensive education in legal assistance for victims of human trafficking to ensure sustainability after the ILS project; and (3) improve POHL's financial management system to a state of the art level and capacity. The overall goal of the project is to help victims of human trafficking to transition into living full and normal lives. At the end of the three-year project period, POHL will have provided at least 100 human trafficking victims legal services that will provide them the support in navigating the federal system while seeking return to the community.