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Assisting immigrant victims of human trafficking. Michael B. Misenheimer 2010 NFPA Pro Bono Conference. What is Human Trafficking?.

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assisting immigrant victims of human trafficking

Assisting immigrant victims of human trafficking

Michael B. Misenheimer

2010 NFPA Pro Bono Conference

what is human trafficking
What is Human Trafficking?
  • According to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, trafficking in persons is defined as follows: "Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
sobering statistics
Sobering Statistics
  • It is estimated that 14,500 to 17,500 people, primarily women and children, are trafficked to the U.S. annually,” according to the 2006U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report.
human trafficking
Human Trafficking
  • Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery.
  • Human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms trade as the second largest criminal industry in the world and according to the U.S. government, is the fastest growing.
  • Is an international conflict and steps should be taken to increase awareness on human trafficking and protect victims of these awful crimes.
  • “Trafficking victims are kept in bondage through a combination of fear, intimidation, abuse, and psychological controls. Trafficking victims live a life marked by abuse, betrayal of their basic human rights, and control under their trafficker.”

-U.S. State Department

forms of trafficking
Forms of Trafficking
  • Sex trafficking: forced into selling themselves for money.
  • Labor trafficking: forced into domestic servitude.
trafficker recruitment tactics
Trafficker Recruitment Tactics
  • Lure victims by promising legitimate jobs;
  • Victims come from various backgrounds and often do not realize what is being done to them is illegal;
  • Pray on their current situation promising better lives.
signs of a trafficked person
Signs of a Trafficked Person
  • Look for health related issues such as malnutrition, sexually transmitted diseases and psychological disorders;
  • Often have bruising or broken bones or show other signs of physical abuse;
  • Victims having very little or no pocket;
  • Brokers or owners uses intimidation when speaking to the victim
what s being done to assist
What’s Being Done to Assist
  • Anti-trafficking act was enacted in 2000, entitled the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act and created the Trafficking in Persons Report;
  • Suppose to assist victims in rebuilding their lives by making housing, education, health care, and job trainingavailable to victims;
  • Offers T-Visas which allow victims of human trafficking to become temporary residents of the U.S.
where paralegals come in
Where Paralegals Come In
  • Paralegals are needed to assist with these cases by conducting client intake interviews, assisting with completing the T-Visa paperwork.
  • They are also needed to obtain documentation, reach out to other agencies who may have been involved, draft affidavits, etc.
client intake interview
Client Intake Interview
  • Have a list of questions ready to ask the victim keeping in mind it may be difficult for him\her answer them fully at first.
intake origins
Intake: Origins
  • Did you come to the U.S. for a specific job or purpose?
  • When you got here, was the work different than you expected?
  • Were you kidnapped or sold?
  • Who set up your travel arrangements? (Usually, the broker. Get more info if possible.)
intake immigration status
Intake: Immigration Status
  • What is your immigration status?
  • Are you authorized to work in U.S.?
  • Are you in possession of your personal documents?
intake employment status
Intake: Employment Status
  • Are you employed? If so, who is your employer?
  • Does the employer provide basic necessities like housing, food and clothing?
  • Did you sign a contract?
  • Do you know owe your employer money?
  • Did your employer tell you what to say to police?
  • Are you forced to have sex as part of your job?
intake employment con t
Intake: Employment (con’t)
  • Can you leave your employer freely?
  • What are the conditions of your work environment?
  • Do you get to keep your wages?
  • Are there guards or other security where you work?
intake safety
Intake: Safety
  • Have you or you family been threatened with harm if you leave?
  • What is your understanding of what would happen if you leave?
  • What would happen when you returned home?
  • Have you been threatened with deportation?”
  • Have you been physically harmed? Deprived of basic necessities?
intake social
Intake: Social
  • Can you purchase your own food and clothing?
  • Can you come and go as you please?
  • Can you contact other people freely?
  • Are you free to have a relationship with someone?
  • Are you isolated from your community?
  • May you have guests over?
t visa paperwork
T-Visa Paperwork
  • Aforementioned will go into a detailed Affidavit;
  • Client will need to review and sign;
  • If witnesses, need Affidavits to document what they saw;
  • Are there police officials willing to sign an Affidavit?