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July/August 2013Vol. 14, No. 6Technical Assistance for Combatting Human Trafficking

The U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provides training and technical assistance (T&TA) to meet the unique needs of victim service providers, including those working in child welfare. One area of expertise for OVC is fighting human trafficking. Their Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) provides evidence-based T&TA services to help build the capacity of victim assistance organizations and agencies across the nation. 

"OVC funds a number of projects that directly serve victims of crime, including human trafficking victims, through capacity-building T&TA," said Deepika Allana, Human Trafficking Advisor with OVC TTAC. "A lot of communities know they have a trafficking problem, but they don't know how to combat it. That's where we can help."

OVC TTAC's services are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the agency or organization requesting support. This includes anything from answering human trafficking questions over the phone or by email to supporting a customized training for which a requester completes a formal application. "Anyone in the community can request customized training, whether they're a victim service provider, law enforcement, or an allied professional, such as social service providers, emergency room staff, those working within child welfare, or other first responders that may encounter potential human trafficking victims," Allana said. "And they can request training on any aspect of human trafficking. It could be Human Trafficking 101. It could be focused on indicators of trafficking and how to recognize a potential victim, or it could be more nuanced, such as a community that is seeing human trafficking perpetrated through gangs."

In addition to in-house subject matter experts, OVC TTAC maintains a database of consultants who can provide T&TA on a variety of topics and to a range of audiences. Requesters interested in customized trainings can email or call 866.682.8822 to get help from a T&TA specialist to assess their needs and help them complete the formal application process. "The agency or organization needs to provide the space, the audience, and the audio and visual support. We provide an expert trainer and a customized curriculum to suit the needs of the audience," Allana said.

For community stakeholders interested in developing a task force to stop human trafficking, OVC TTAC offers the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Strategy and Operations E-Guide. The e-Guide outlines models for task force structure and organization and provides a wealth of resources and information to address challenges that existing task forces may encounter. OVC TTAC also provides T&TA to new and existing task forces on a variety of topics such as structuring a task force and how to share data, facilitate information sharing, and recruit members. "If an existing task force is struggling to be effective, we provide personalized T&TA, or we might connect them to a task force in another community that has been effective," Allana said.

The OVC TTAC website offers other helpful tools, including the following:

Allana added that OVC TTAC is focusing on outreach to child welfare and other social service professionals who may encounter potential human trafficking victims.

For more information, email, or visit the Department of Justice's OVC website: 

Specific OVC TTAC anti-human trafficking information is available at

Special thanks to Deepika Allana, Human Trafficking Advisor with OVC TTAC, for providing the information for this article.