Anti-Trafficking Assistance


About Human Trafficking


Human trafficking, also described as modern-day slavery or involuntary servitude, affects an estimated 700,000 to 2 million people around the globe every year. Of this number, thousands of victims land in the United States

Traffickers often transport individuals from their home countries to unfamiliar destinations, leaving them defenseless and vulnerable. Victims are often forced, through physical violence and psychological threats, to engage in sex acts or to perform work under slavery-like conditions. Trafficking in persons is a violation of human rights.

The United States made human trafficking a federal crime in 2000 with the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).

What are Different Types of Trafficking?


According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the different types of trafficking are

Sex trafficking: A trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion to get a victim to perform sexual acts for commercial reasons. Labor trafficking: A trafficker transports, provides, harbors, or obtains a victim through force, fraud, or coercion into debt bondage, involuntary servitude, or slavery.

There are three common elements to trafficking cases on which both international and federal definitions agree:

Process – the victim is recruited, transferred, harbored, obtained, or moved by a trafficker.
Means – the trafficker uses force, fraud, coercion, abduction, threat, deception, or the abuse of power to gain control over the victim.
End – the victim is exploited for forced labor, involuntary servitude, slavery, debt bondage, or commercial sex acts.


Smuggling vs. Trafficking

Trafficking and smuggling are two different crimes, and law enforcement regards trafficked persons and smuggled persons in different ways.


Trafficking involves:

An element of coercion. A person cannot consent to enslavement.

A restriction of movement, withholding documents, providing low or no pay, etc.

Crime or violation against a person.

Subsequent exploitation and/or forced labor.

Trafficked persons are seen as victims by the law.


Smuggling involves:

Unauthorized border crossings.

No coercion.

Facilitated illegal entry of person from one country to another.

Smuggled persons are seen as criminals by the law.


It is important to distinguish between trafficking and smuggling, in order to identify those who are trafficking victims and to provide appropriate services.

AHIO provides services for crime victims, and our Anti-Trafficking Program is how we provide support to human trafficking survivors.

Some Questions to Consider


If you are a service provider, the AHIO Anti-Trafficking Program recommends that you incorporate the following questions into your client assessment. Answers to these questions can reveal whether or not your client may be a victim of trafficking. These questions alone will by no means serve as a comprehensive assessment of a trafficking case. Please contact AHIO’s Anti-Trafficking Program for assistance.

Did the person come to the United States for a specific job or other purpose? Upon arrival, was the person forced to do different work than what he/she was promised? Does the person have access to his/her personal documents, identification papers, etc.? Does the person owe money to the employer?
Can the person leave his/her present situation?
Has the person been threatened with harm or deportation if he/she tries to leave?
Have family members been threatened?
Is the person’s freedom restricted in any other way?

How We Help Human Trafficking Victims


AHIO provides services for crime victims, and our Anti-Trafficking Program is how we provide support to human trafficking survivors. Established in 2007, the Anti-Trafficking Program has grown into the largest direct-service provider on the East Coast.

Through the Anti-Trafficking Program, we assist women, men, and children who are victims of labor and sex trafficking. Since its founding the Anti-Trafficking Program has helped in over 110 cases within and outside South Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware Counties area, giving human trafficking survivors from more than 60 countries the means to truly escape modern-day slavery.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please call the AHIO Anti-Trafficking Program at 856-324-5098 (Monday – Friday, 9-5). After hours, call AHIO’s 24-hour toll-free Hotline, The hotline is equipped to respond to inquiries in many languages and has TTY capability.


What Makes Our Anti-Trafficking Program Unique?


AHIO’s Anti-Trafficking Program uses a two-tiered approach to fight the epidemic of human trafficking. The first is by providing intensive case management so victims receive much-needed social and legal services, as well as referrals for other support. The second is by offering a range of educational and technical assistance, training, and advocacy which foster the type of change that will reduce and ultimately end human trafficking.

The Anti-Trafficking Program also values partnerships with other organizations tackling human trafficking issues, and also takes a leadership role to build coalitions among advocates across the country. The Anti-Trafficking Program is a co-founder of the Freedom Network (USA), the Freedom Network (USA) Training Institute, and NJ Anti-Trafficking Network.

Services and Assistance for Human Trafficking Survivors


In following the language of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, our Anti-Trafficking Program has designed and implemented victim-centered services through intensive case management and legal advocacy. Our support for trafficking survivors include:

Culturally and linguistically sensitive services
Counseling, support groups, shelter, and housing assistance Linkage to other services
Liaison with law enforcement and criminal justice process Legal representation


How We Help Other Organizations Fight Human Trafficking


We know client services alone will not turn the tide on human trafficking. AHIO’s Anti-Trafficking Program also offers education and technical assistance, training, and advocacy to help foster systemic change. Our Anti-Trafficking Program staff can provide tailored trainings and presentations to meet the needs of your audience.


AHIO’s Anti-Trafficking Program also works in partnership with other advocates, law enforcement agencies, and government entities to help further efforts to combat human trafficking, and to provide high-quality support to trafficking survivors.

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