The Freedom Network USA Welcomes Jean Bruggeman as Director, Strengthening the Coalition Combating Human Trafficking

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The Freedom Network is pleased to introduce Jean Bruggeman as its first Director.

Ms. Bruggeman’s deep and multifaceted experience within the anti-trafficking field is an ideal match for the human rights-based coalition of legal and social service providers that comprises the Freedom Network.

Welcomed by Freedom Network Co-Chairs Amy Fleischauer, Kathleen Morris, and Daniel Werner, as well as Founder and Chair Emeritus Florrie Burke, Ms. Bruggeman brings over 15 years of survivor support experience, most recently as a Human Trafficking Fellow with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) within the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

While at OVC, Ms. Bruggeman supported efforts to improve and expand access to legal and social services for crime victims, provided training and technical assistance to service providers and government agencies nationwide, and supported OVC’s intergovernmental efforts to improve services for survivors of human trafficking.

Ms. Bruggeman provided leadership in the development of the Federal Strategic Action Plan for Services to Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States, the first OVC Human Trafficking Survivor Forum, and the upcoming OVC video series “The Faces of Human Trafficking.

The plethora of professional experience Jean brings to the Freedom Network including in-depth analysis and evaluation of government programs, direct line legal and social services, and human rights-based advocacy will elevate the unique voice and perspective of the Freedom Network and its member organizations.

Amy Fleischauer, Freedom Network Co-Chair, and Director, Survivor Support Services, International Institute of Buffalo.

Freedom Network member organizations across the United States have expertise in working with various populations affected by and vulnerable to human trafficking, providing specialized legal, social, and advocacy services to survivors of all forms of human trafficking – including migrant farm workers, sexually exploited youth, those exploited within low-wage industries, sex workers, and others.

“Jean is a leader in the anti-trafficking movement. She is a visionary rooted in in-the-trenches direct work with trafficking survivors. We are incredibly fortunate to have her at the helm of the Freedom Network.”

Daniel Werner, Freedom Network Co-Chair and Senior Supervising Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project.

Ms. Bruggeman has developed comprehensive legal and social services programs for survivors, provided direct legal representation to survivors, authored training resources, and developed an interpreter services program to ensure access to legal services in the District of Columbia.

“Jean is able to look at all aspects of the human trafficking field and how it intersects with labor, migration, business, and human rights. Her experience in both the non-governmental and governmental sectors brings the knowledge we want in a leader.”

Florrie Burke, Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Freedom Network

The Freedom Network recognizes that human trafficking is fueled by complex and interconnected factors, including poverty and economic injustice, racism, gender-based discrimination, and political strife. At its core, the crime of trafficking is a violation of an individual’s basic human rights and personal freedom. Thus, the Freedom Network believes that a rights-based approach is fundamental to combating human trafficking and ensuring justice for trafficked persons.

“Jean’s experience directly serving survivors, managing and developing organizations, and working on anti-trafficking-in-persons initiatives at many levels make her uniquely qualified to lead the Freedom Network. Jean possesses a deep understanding of human rights and how human trafficking intersects with all forms of injustice — expertise which will be of great value to the Freedom Network’s mission and the anti-trafficking-in-persons field in the years to come.”

Kathleen Morris, Co-Chair and Program Manager, Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN), International Rescue Committee in Seattle (IRC)

Additional details on the membership, services, and impact of the Freedom Network can be found in the 2014 Impact Report [PDF]