HSI Human Trafficking and Victim Assistance Programs: Fiscal Year 2017 Report to Congress   [open pdf - 317KB]

Alternate Title: Homeland Security Investigations Human Trafficking and Victim Assistance Programs: Fiscal Year 2017 Report to Congress

"ICE's [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducts more than 1,000 human trafficking investigations annually. Many case referrals come from working in local task forces and from nongovernmental organizations (NGO) providing community and victim services. Specialized HSI victim assistance personnel provide victims with emergency assistance and referrals to NGOs that provide short-term and long-term direct services. The HSI Victim Assistance Program currently comprises a headquarters unit, 27 victim assistance specialists (VAS), and 6 forensic interview specialists (FIS) to assist victims in HSI investigations conducted by 6,400 HSI special agents worldwide. With an estimated current budget of $8 million, VASs referred 2,289 victims to NGOs and faith-based organizations, including 379 human trafficking victims from October 1, 2016, through August 28, 2017. FISs received 657 requests and conducted 462 forensic interviews during the same period. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017 proposes to expand the existing HSI Victim Assistance Program, increasing the number of HSI victim assistance personnel to an effort commensurate with the victim assistance efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys. The creation of an HSI Office of Victim Assistance would ensure that all HSI human trafficking investigations would have benefit of the HSI victim assistance effort by locating a VAS where there is a human trafficking and/or child exploitation task force in which HSI participates and an FIS in each of the 26 HSI special agent-in-charge offices nationwide. The legislation specifically states that the newly created office also would 'collaborate with other federal, state, local and tribal governmental, nongovernmental, and nonprofit entities regarding policy, outreach, and training activities.'"

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/
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