Underutilization of the T Visa Program for Human Trafficking Victims: Learning From and Creating Partnerships With Advocacy Organizations
Zeppi, Tracy Leah
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CitationZeppi, Tracy Leah. 2020. Underutilization of the T Visa Program for Human Trafficking Victims: Learning From and Creating Partnerships With Advocacy Organizations. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractHuman Trafficking is a growing global issue, and it has been recognized as an area in need of focus by the United States government. In an effort to encourage victims who have immigration status concerns to come forward to both receive assistance and help in bringing their traffickers to justice, the T visa was created. To date, the program has failed to meet expected participation rates, and therefore has not reached its full potential as a tool to combat trafficking.
In an effort to understand the factors preventing victims from choosing to pursue a T visa, I reached out to individuals within the advocacy community who work most closely with victims as they consider viable paths to recovery and moving forward with their lives. I spoke with both mental health and legal service providers, and identified several common issues cited by multiple respondents.
Some of the roadblocks to participation in the program would take congressional action to change, which may not be possible with the priorities identified under the current administration. However, an equally urgent and more accessible issue was also identified, as many respondents felt that there is a need for greater education and understanding across the community, for both victims and service providers. While efforts have improved in recent years, organizations have identified an ongoing need that could be addressed through increased communication and partnership.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37366125