FAQ

How can my law firm get involved in anti-trafficking pro bono work?
The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center provides continuing legal education (CLE) training on federal law governing human trafficking.  The course is free for law firms willing to handle pro bono civil and criminal trafficking cases for victims. If your firm would like to obtain training, please contact HT Pro Bono at info@htprobono.org.

Does HT Pro Bono litigate cases?
HT Pro Bono does not provide direct representation to clients, but partners with outstanding law firms nationwide to refer trafficking survivors to qualified pro bono counsel.

Where do case referrals come from?
HT Pro Bono receives referrals from multiple sources.  Most referrals, however, come from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) providing comprehensive social services for survivors of trafficking.  Legal services are just one piece of the wrap-around, rights-based services that survivors need and deserve.  HT Pro Bono works in partnership with NGOs to ensure that trafficking survivors have social support throughout legal proceedings.

How do you assign cases?
The attorneys at HT Pro Bono have trained more than 900 attorneys across the country.  When HT Pro Bono receives a referral, there is a careful effort to match the potential client with the pro bono firm most appropriate for that particular matter. Outcomes in legal matters can never be guaranteed.

What kind of support do you provide?
HT Pro Bono provides support in three key areas: 1) training for attorneys willing to handle pro bono matters; 2) technical assistance and mentoring to firms accepting pro bono matters; and 3) free access to a comprehensive database of civil trafficking cases filed in U.S. federal courts since 2003. HT Pro Bono does not provide legal advice. Its attorneys are on call to provide references to relevant research, case law, and publications that may assist pro bono counsel in conducting their own legal analysis.


Do trafficking victims have rights?
Yes.  In 2000, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, criminalizing trafficking for forced prostitution, forced labor, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Since passage of the law, the U.S. Department of Justice has brought hundreds of trafficking prosecutions nationwide. Congress amended the law in 2003, creating the right for trafficking victims to sue their traffickers for damages in federal court.

Can potential clients contact HT Pro Bono directly?
Potential clients should contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 to request a legal referral.  Alternatively, trafficking victims should contact a local service provider in their area. Local service providers may be found through the hotline or through the Freedom Network coalition of service providers in the United States.

Where can someone go for help if they are a victim of trafficking?
Victims may call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888. Individuals in immediate danger should call 911.

How can NGOs collaborate with HT Pro Bono?
HT Pro Bono provides free training to anti-trafficking service providers in the United States. If you would like to arrange a training program for your staff, please contact HT Pro Bono at info@htprobono.org

My organization is providing assistance to a trafficking survivor who is in need of legal advice. What can we do?
Please contact HT Pro Bono at mvandenberg@htprobono.org to refer the case. Please do not send confidential information to this email address. Someone will contact you to assist in finding a placement within HT Pro Bono’s national network of pro bono attorneys.

How was HT Pro Bono started?
The Open Society Foundations Fellowship program incubated The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center in 2012.  HT Pro Bono officially launched in 2013 with generous support from several foundations and  individual donors.

Who supports HT Pro Bono?
HT Pro Bono receives support from an array of generous individuals, foundations, and charitable institutions.  In 2013, the Center received key grants from the GE Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and an anonymous family foundation. The Center is grateful to all its donors for their support the Center’s vision: universal pro bono representation for trafficking victims in the United States.

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