Human Trafficking Project

Project Rescue, Anti-Human Trafficking Program is a program designed to assist victims of human trafficking identified in the State of Connecticut. It is funded under a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, within the U. S. Department of Justice and is operated by the International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN).

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. It is estimated that approximately 800,000 to 900,000 victims are trafficked annually across international borders, and between 14,000 and 17,000 of those victims are trafficked into the US. 

In cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut and federal and local law enforcement, Project Rescue was established to provide help to these victims. The aims of this program are:

  • to provide comprehensive services to trafficking victims
  • to build effective community service networks to respond to victims’ needs
  • to provide training to service providers and the public

Under the Project, comprehensive services include:

  • housing assistance
  1. English and job training skills
  • health services
  1. language and cultural assistance
  • transportation
  1. legal and immigration services.

While many of these services are provided by IICONN the Project makes referrals to other cooperating community organizations, to ensure that the individualized needs of each victim are met.

Project Rescue also provides education and outreach to the community regarding the issues and data of human trafficking in Connecticut, the nature of trafficking and about the help that is available in Connecticut..

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact us.  If you are part of a social service agency or other group that you think could benefit from training on trafficking issues, such as victim identification or dealing with victims, please contact IICONN at
203 336-0141, the National Trafficking Hotline (888 373-7888) or email at projrescue@iiconn.org.

Survivors of Torture Program (SOT)

 

Torture is an atrocious human rights violation to which many individuals worldwide are subject, including those who live in Connecticut State. Amnesty International has documented torture in over 100 countries worldwide by government and armed actors which use violence to oppress their populations, stifle political dissent, emerging movements and civil society and to breakdown family and community units. They are tortured because of their political opinion, activism, ethnicity, or religious convictions. Many are tortured because of their gender or sexual orientations– while others are tortured because they are friends, colleagues, and family members of targeted individuals or groups. Consequently survivors of torture experience medical, social, psychological and spiritual problems. Survivors of torture can be refugees, asylees, human trafficking victims, asylum applicants and other immigrations statuses. The US Government estimates that there are 500,000 torture survivors living in the US. An average of 28,000 refugees, asylees and asylum seekers live in Connecticut and most of them come from countries that routinely use torture against their own citizens. Therefore, IICONN estimates that 20-33% of the 600 refugees that arrive in Connecticut every year have experienced sometime of torture. In order to respond the needs of these survivors, the IICONN runs a torture rehabilitation program out of its Bridgeport office.

 

Program Mission

The Mission of the SOT Program is to empower foreign-born survivors of torture to heal from trauma, regain independence, and lead productive lives through the provision of comprehensive, client-focused services, including immigration-legal services, mental health counseling, case management, social services, and referrals to quality healthcare in the community. The SOT Program predominantly serves the Greater Bridgeport area, however clients with transportation in surround areas can also be served.

 

Services Provided

 

Immigration-Legal Services

Our staff attorney and her network of trained pro-bono attorneys and Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representatives provide affordable assistance to foreign-born torture survivors through the following forms of relief and assistance:

· Asylum

· Convention Against Torture (CAT) Claims

· Withholding of Removal

· Family Petitions

· Permanent Resident Applications

· Citizenship Applications

· Applications for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

· Travel Documents

· Referrals to outside counsel

 

Case Management Services

Our case managers help survivors of torture meet basic needs and reach economic self-sufficiency through individualized, client-centered case management services.  At IICONN and with collaboration with community partners, survivors of torture can access ESL classes, employment assistance, financial literacy services, educational and vocational assistance, aid in applying for food stamps and other state or federal benefits, food assistance, clothing, toiletries and household items. Through a partnership with the American Red Cross, survivors can trace missing family members due to conflict or natural disaster.

 

Mental Health & Therapeutic Services

Through partnerships with community providers survivors of torture can benefit from crisis counseling, short and long-term mental health services, even those who are not insured. In-house, clients can participate in structured socialization activities and psycho-educational groups.  The SOT program runs a community garden group from spring to first frost. SOT clients can also participate in community outings.

 

Medical Services

Survivors of Torture of all legal statuses may benefit from    healthcare and medical advocacy through strategic partnership with local health clinics. Survivors of torture can receive primary, secondary, dental care and substance abuse treatment including those who are not insured.

 

How to Receive Services

If you or someone you know has experienced violence perpetrated by a government or other armed actor, you/he/she may be eligible for our services. If you are community provider who would like to learn more about the prevalence, consequences of torture and treatment strategies used to serve survivors, the geopolitical, cultural context of the countries from where survivors come, or about our services, please contact the Survivors of Torture Program Manager at (203) 336-0141.