News from the Anti-Trafficking Field

June 20, 2024

Let’s celebrate a couple of wins that have recently taken place in the anti-human trafficking field!

 

 T Visa Rule

 

As a result of  Freedom Network USA relentless advocacy they report: “We have been advocating for changes to provide more protections for survivors for many years. On April 30th, the Department of Homeland Security released a Final T Visa Rule including many FNUSA recommendations that will allow survivors to safely work and rebuild their lives during the growing wait times for a visa.“

 

Highlights from their website article:

  • A clarification “that all survivors who were under the age of 18 during their victimization are exempt from law enforcement reporting.

  • An improved bona fide determination process, which provides survivors with protection from deportation, work authorization, and access to public benefits while they await their final visa decision.

To learn more about this policy change click here.

 

Guest workers in agriculture using H-2A visas

 

If you are not familiar with the organization Justice in Motion you should be! Their mission is  “Protecting Migrant Rights Across Borders.”

 

They report on their “most recent success was on behalf of temporary foreign agricultural workers using H-2A visas. Last year, an estimated 300,000-plus H-2A workers came to the USA to work in fields across the United States. For too long, these laborers have toiled under conditions that fall short of basic workplace protections. However, a recent advancement brings a ray of hope: a new federal rule aimed at bolstering safeguards for farmworkers, championed by advocates for labor rights, including Justice in Motion.

 

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released the “Farmworker Protection Final Rule,” marking important progress toward addressing long-standing issues faced by temporary foreign agricultural workers on H-2A visas. This rule signifies an increasing commitment to ensuring dignity, safety and fair treatment for those who work hard to put food on our tables.

 

North Carolina Recovered Runaway Youth In Care

 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is implementing the use of a screening tool to screen for human trafficking specifically for youth and young adults who return to care from runaway status.“

 

“This tool will be used for all youth and young adults in foster care, kinship care, State care, private residential settings, and other out of home care, including emergency shelters, as they are at especially high risk.”

 

“The Human Trafficking Screening Tool - HTST DSS-5402 has been developed for use by case workers for screening youth within 24 hours of return from runaway status. Updates have been made to both the Permanency Planning Manual and the Cross Function Manual related to using the HTST.”

 

We want to give a very special thanks and shout out to our colleagues who helped develop this tool: Hannah Arrowood, President, Charlotte Metro Human Trafficking Task Force and Executive Director, Present Age Ministries, Hannah Hopper, Human Trafficking & Sexual Assault Social Worker, Hope United Survivor Network. Also a special thanks to Fayetteville State University BSW Student Intern, Chenika Thomas.

 

This work is hard and can make us wonder if change ever happens, which is why we should celebrate every win, big or small!