As one of the nation’s first federally funded grants to support direct services to survivors of human trafficking, the Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (TVAP) program has assisted thousands of foreign-born survivors across the country. On June 19th, the Office of Refugee Resettlement released the 2015 TVAP funding opportunity announcement (FOA), consisting of several significant changes to the program’s structure and eligibility requirements.
Freedom Network (FN) immediately became concerned about the impact these changes will have on foreign-born survivors of human trafficking and their ability to receive the support they so desperately need. FN has a long history of positive collaboration with ORR, both as a network and through the many individual member organizations that receive Rescue and Restore funds, as well as TVAP contracts. With this on-the-ground knowledge, the FN Co-Chairs met with Katherine Chon, Director of the new OTIP office that oversees ORR anti-trafficking programs, to present these concerns. Soon thereafter, FN sent a formal and detailed outline of concerns with the full support of ATEST, recommending that OTIP continue the current funding for one year in order to solicit feedback and collect data from Federal and NGO stakeholders—including survivors—to inform effective programmatic changes that address the very real and nuanced systems-based challenges facing survivors.
To access our official comments, please click here. The Freedom Network would like to thank our colleagues at ATEST for their support and contributions throughout the process.