New report from Commission highlights support for survivors of human trafficking
As a part of its 2021 Fellowship program, Seattle Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Fellows Meagan King, Kendrick Lu, and Roshni Sinha (“The Human Trafficking Team”) examined human trafficking in the region. The team spent thousands of hours speaking to service providers, legislators, and survivors of trafficking and delved deep into the literature and law.
Their final report (available at https://bit.ly/SupportingSea) starts by demystifying human trafficking, then presents the history of human trafficking in the region, discusses anti-trafficking tools, highlights existing models used to address human trafficking, and provides a set of recommendations for the City and the County to better support survivors of human trafficking. The report urges the City of Seattle and King County to invest in four key areas: housing, preventative education, mental health services, and outreach technology.
In housing, the City and County should create a program that provides trafficking survivors with housing vouchers to help them overcome the numerous systemic barriers that survivors face when seeking housing.
In preventative education, the City and County should implement a mandatory anti-human trafficking educational program that facilitates labor and sex trafficking being taught at schools and workplaces.
In mental health services, the City and County should 1) create a collective fund to cover mental health services and substance abuse treatment for survivors of human trafficking, and 2) increase accessibility to mental health and substance abuse services by identifying and equipping integrated care clinics with resources and training to treat survivors.
In terms of outreach technology, the City and County should create an Outreach Manager/Advocate position to send and respond to messages sent using Freedom Signal, expand and oversee the use of TIRA (upon its release), and better connect survivors of trafficking and exploitation to appropriate organizations.
“The report contains existing examples and models that can be easily leveraged and contextualized for the City and County. We hope that these recommendations or relevant versions of them are enacted to help survivors” – Commission Co-Chair Ty Grandison