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Human Trafficking


All victims of human trafficking deserve to feel safe and supported. Quality care, compassionate responses, and essential services can help victims recover from their victimization. OVC has compiled the following list of resources to help victims and survivors receive the assistance they need.


Many people in human trafficking situations don't seek help because they don't know their rights. However, all people in the United States—regardless of immigration status—have rights and are protected by our laws.

No one can—

  • Force you to work against your will.
  • Collect a debt by using threats or forcing you to work to pay the debt.
  • Force you to work using threats to harm you or your family.
  • Force or pressure you into prostitution or to do other sex acts.
  • Use you for any kind of sex work if you are under 18.
  • Take away your passport, birth certificate, or identification card to control you or your movements.

Several immigration options were specifically created for trafficking victims, such as Continued Presence and the T Visa, and options for crime victims of trafficking, including the U Visa and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. To learn more, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, Resources for Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes.

For more information about victims’ rights, visit—

Effective Service Delivery
Responses to victimization must include a focus on the needs, beliefs, and interests of the victims. OVC encourages victim service providers to engage survivors and incorporate survivor voices in anti-trafficking efforts.

To assist organizations in their efforts to be trauma-informed and victim-centered, we have provided this sample principles statement that includes three principles of survivor engagement. Your organization may consider adopting these principles, or adjusting them to suit your mission, to guide and support efforts to be survivor-informed.

Community Impact and Awareness
Engaging survivors is often thought of as listening to survivor stories of trauma and recovery. However, there are many ways to empower survivor voices, including inviting and cultivating their thoughts and analyses of critical issues affecting the field.

We encourage communities to connect and build impactful relationships with local survivor leaders. Survivor consultants are available to provide support to through OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC).

Federal Policies
OVC acknowledges the unique perspective survivors bring to service providers, communities, and federal policymakers. We are committed to working closely with survivors, including the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, to inform policies and practices that enhance the work of the anti-trafficking field.


Date Modified: April 14, 2022
Date Created: April 28, 2020