Victims in Plain Sight

Modern day slavery – or human trafficking – exists in Connecticut. Victims of human trafficking live in our communities, in our state’s sleepy rural towns and in the corners of our cities. Children and women are forced into the sex trade; immigrants are coerced into manual labor and domestic servitude. Some are citizens, many are minorities, and all are human beings deprived of basic human rights and dignity.

Because of Connecticut’s close proximity to New York City and Boston, as well as the network of state and federal highways that traverse the state, Connecticut has become a profitable location for traffickers. Many of our cities are ethnically diverse and impoverished, making it easier to conduct and hide trafficking activity. Local, State and Federal law enforcement are engaged in investigations of trafficking operations in these regions of the State, but prosecution of traffickers has been extremely difficult. The Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women’s Annual Report found that when it comes to the sex trade, it is the women sex workers who are 20 times more likely to be convicted than the “pimps” controlling the business, even though 60% of sex workers are physically forced or coerced into prostitution.

Project Rescue is a collaborative effort between IICONN, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the Center for Family Justice and the US Attorney’s Office that combines the partners’ expertise and resources across all victim groups to provide a coordinated approach to working with trafficking victims. The collaborative provides: direct comprehensive services to trafficking victims; training to community partners throughout the state to improve trafficking victim identification and service provision; and policy coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement.

IICONN identifies and serves foreign born victims of human trafficking, and is Connecticut’s sole provider of comprehensive services for this population. Its leadership in coordinating services with community partners who are skilled at identifying and serving domestic born victims – including children and youth – has helped to create an effective service network for all victims of trafficking.

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact us at (203)336-0141, the National Trafficking Hotline (888)373-7888 or email projrescue@iiconn.org.