Improving Trafficking Victim Identification Study


In 2006, with funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Vera and diverse local stakeholders launched the New York City Trafficking Assessment Project (NYCTAP) which led to the creation of a screening tool, to identify likely victims of trafficking, and an accompanying guide for the tool’s administration. In 2011, Vera was awarded a grant from the NIJ to validate this tool in the field and get closer to a meaningful and practical identification tool for trafficking victims.

Partners for the NYCTAP project were criminal justice agencies, community and faith- based organizations, and social and legal service agencies with vast expertise in working with underground populations. Lessons learned from the pilot included the need to move forward on the validation of the screening tool.

Working in conjunction with several service providers and nonprofit partners in New York, Texas, California and Washington DC—and with additional funding from the NIJ—Vera has updated this tool and will gather data to evaluate its identification capabilities in the field.  Once the tool is validated, Vera will explore its adaptation for law enforcement and disseminate the tool and user guides. Use of the screening tool can generate more reliable knowledge of factors associated with trafficking, and will allow for better detection of trafficking victims as well as speedier connections to needed resources for this underserved population.

For more information on our human trafficking work, please contact Laura Simich.

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The Vera Institute’s high quality research often depends upon collaborations with leading service organizations who work closely with the justice system to rescue and protect victims of abuse. Sanctuary for Families, a partner organization in the Vera Institute’s research on human trafficking, is...
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