EVERY TRAFFICKING VICTIM IN THE UNITED STATES
SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO JUSTICE.
“I feel like the powerful people are on my side now.”
—Trafficking Survivor, referred by HT Pro Bono
The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center (HT Pro Bono) trains talented pro bono attorneys to represent trafficking victims in the United States. It makes referrals on a case-by-case basis, providing mentoring and extensive technical assistance for complex civil, immigration, and criminal cases. HT Pro Bono attorneys monitor the developing case law, focusing on impact litigation in the federal courts. HT Pro Bono also conducts research and maintains a comprehensive database on federal civil trafficking cases. It works in concert with other groups to promote policy reform that will end the scourge of trafficking.
In the fourteen years since Congress created a civil remedy, trafficking victims have filed just 238 cases. Pro bono attorneys work with trafficking survivors to hold traffickers accountable, gain restitution, and reclaim their lives.
New Report Released
Ending impunity, securing justice: Using strategic litigation to combat modern-day slavery and human trafficking
Across the globe, stories of human trafficking and modern-day slavery dominate headlines and provoke community outrage.
But how can outrage be turned into action? How can we break the scandalous trade in human lives? How can we put an end to modern-day slavery?
In recent years, strategic litigation has been used to hold both states and private actors accountable for these gross violations of human rights. It is one of the most promising mechanisms—if not the most promising method—to secure justice for victims, punish perpetrators and drive lasting reform.
In May 2015, the Freedom Fund and the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center brought together leading human rights lawyers, advocates, and litigators from around the world to consider how to use strategic litigation to combat trafficking and modern-day slavery.
This conference report shares key issues discussed at the meeting, including lessons learned from successful litigation. It also highlights a number of persistent gaps that must be bridged in order to identify, prepare, and successfully prosecute cases that can lead to systemic change.
Strategic litigation is not just the domain of human rights lawyers and civil litigators. It is founded on close partnerships with all those committed to ending human trafficking and modern-day slavery: investigative journalists, human rights researchers, academics, and grassroots non-governmental organizations, to name just a few.
Victims in need of assistance should contact:
National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
NEWS & HIGHLIGHTS
- HT Pro Bono signs MOU with the National Disability Rights Network to prevent trafficking of persons with disabilities (2/1/2017).
- U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking has released its annual report on human trafficking, with survivor advocates’ recommendations for law and policy (October 2016).
- HT Pro Bono partner, the Freedom Fund, publishes report on how donors can invest in strategic litigation: “Fighting Impunity, Securing Justice” (10/5/2016).
- HT Pro Bono reports on Diplomatic Immunity and the Abuse of Domestic Workers: Criminal and Civil Remedies in the United States (August 2016).
- Read the new article published by HT Pro Bono: “Breaking the Law: The Failure to Award Mandatory Criminal Restitution to Victims in Sex Trafficking Cases“ (2016).
- HT Pro Bono Releases Fact Sheet on Trafficking of Persons with Disabilities (4/12/16).
- Ending impunity, securing justice: Using strategic litigation to combat modern-day slavery and human trafficking—report by HT Pro Bono and the Freedom Fund (2015).
- HT Pro Bono Report: “When ‘Mandatory’ Does Not Mean Mandatory: Failure to Obtain Criminal Restitution in Federal Prosecution of Human Trafficking” (2014).
- Creating a Bench of Pro Bono Attorneys: HT Pro Bono has trained more than 2,000 highly skilled attorneys throughout the U.S. using a rights-based approach that empowers trafficking survivors.
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