Human Trafficking Initiative Co-Hosts Conference & Training

To commemorate Human Trafficking Awareness month, the Legal Aid Society’s Human Trafficking Initiative organized a full-day conference January 14 in Chicago for social service providers on how to identify, refer and assist trafficking survivors. With Heartland Alliance as a training partner, and Latham & Watkins as conference sponsor, the Initiative trained more than 60 attendees from various organizations ranging from mental health organizations, domestic violence and homeless shelters to ethnic and immigration organizations and worker’s rights centers.

The Initiative also held several other events during the month, including awareness talks and trainings for workers at a worker’s rights center Jan. 15, for community members at a church Jan. 25, and for clinicians at Metropolitan’s Southwest Center Jan. 30.

The Human Trafficking Initiative of Metropolitan’s Legal Aid Society (LAS) has been at the forefront of the fight against human trafficking, rendering legal aid to trafficking survivors since 2012. Recently, LAS was awarded a three-year federal grant to provide anti-trafficking training and technical assistance to professionals to help identify and refer trafficking survivors. The grant has enabled the Initiative to train lawyers, social workers, counselors and community members, including staff and board members at various Metropolitan sites.

If you think you know someone who may be trafficked or have questions, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888. It is confidential, toll free, available 24 hours/7 days a week, and interpreters are available. The hotline will help assess whether there is a trafficking situation, identify local resources to help the trafficking survivor, and coordinate with local social service organizations including Metropolitan to help protect and serve trafficking survivors. Learn more here.