Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $650,000)
The goal of the FY 2019 Direct Services to Support Victims of Human Trafficking Program is to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to victims of human trafficking, as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, as amended. Funding through this program supports specialized services to victims of sex and labor trafficking, as well as for efforts to increase the capacity of communities to respond to human trafficking through the development of interagency partnerships, professional training, and public awareness activities over a three-year project period.
This award made to Alaska Institute for Justice is funded under Purpose Area 2 which is designed to serve the entire State of Alaska (population of 737,438) and provide specialized legal services to all human trafficking survivors across the state. Alaska has some of the highest rates of violent crime within the United States including human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault. The United States Attorney General declared a public safety emergency in rural Alaska in June 2019. Human trafficking victims in Alaska face unique barriers that prevent them from seeking safety and protection. Alaskas geographical barriers to victim services are unparalleled by any other state, with 83 percent of communities in Alaska not road connected. High rates of violent crime combined with lack of law enforcement in many rural communities creates a justice gap for human trafficking survivors. Legal services for human trafficking survivors are critical to addressing the public safety emergency occurring in Alaska. Legal services enhance victim safety and well-being through civil legal service remedies. The Alaska Institute of Justice will address the identified statewide needs in services through: 1) provision of in-house specialized legal services; 2) collaboration with federal, state, and local law enforcement to ensure all human trafficking victims are identified and referred for appropriate services across the entire State of Alaska; 3) ongoing training and public awareness activities for professionals and community members to improve their knowledge of human trafficking and their ability to identify and respond to victims; 4) provision of increased language access services available across the state for limited English proficient human trafficking victims to access critical services; and 5) analysis to determine if the program is meeting stated goals and objectives. CA/NCF