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The Commission has worked to develop and deploy best practices for those serving victims and survivors of human trafficking. We have identified and evaluated a resource developed through the U.S. Administration of Children and Families. The “Guiding Principles for Agencies Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking” is an extensive resource which encompasses the values adopted by the Commission. We encourage agencies serving victims and survivors of human trafficking to implement these best practices.
This committee is charged with reviewing the needs of human trafficking survivors to determine how those needs can be met at the local and state levels.
2022 Committee Reports
The Victim Services Committee continued work this year on developing and deploying a Listening Tour to learn directly from survivors of human trafficking how best to serve them. The Listening Tour will allow members of the Commission a chance to hear, confidentially, from victims and survivors of labor and sex trafficking. The goal of the tour is to invite a diverse group of victim and survivor voices to fully inform the committee’s conversation on what services are available, what services are needed and how the delivery of those services can be improved.
Building on progress from 2021 where the committee received assistance from the Community Technical Assistance Collaborative (CTAC), at the University of Michigan, a community-university partnership that focuses on supporting nonprofits, schools, and governmental organization to build capacity while meeting the educational goals of students. CTAC assisted in the development of some of the support resources needed to conduct the Listening Tour and they will also help to compile a report based on the feedback obtained in the pilot. Although the report will protect participant’s confidentiality, it will provide a useful summary and compilation of responses received.
The committee conducted two pilot sessions of the listening tour in 2022. The two pilots, focused on one set of survivors, allowed the committee to explore two difference approaches. The purpose of the pilot is to explore the best approaches, and the initial pilots provided lessons learned. Initially, we learned that timing is paramount, and providing survivors ample time to share their experiences is key. The committee also discovered that conducting sessions in person is vital, both due to technical issues, but more importantly to provide more meaningful interaction between the participants. The committee is planning pilot session 3 with a new group of survivors for early 2023. If all goes well a fourth and final pilot will follow with a view toward launching the actual listening tour before the end of 2023.
Continuing the theme of developing and deploying best practices, the committee reviewed and recommended for adoption an existing resource developed through the Administration of Children and Families. The “Guiding Principles for Agencies Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking” is an extensive resource which encompasses the values adopted by the Training and Education and Public Awareness subcommittees. After convening a workgroup last year to craft Michigan-specific principles, it became clear that the most efficient approach was to adopt the Guiding Principles in its entirety. The committee recommended the adoption of the Guiding Principles and the Commission approved. The Guiding Principles were posted on the new Michigan Human Trafficking website for all to utilize.
In order to ensure successful adoption and deployment in Michigan, the Commission is partnering with the Michigan Abolitionist Project (MAP, led by Commissioner Kathy Maitland) for a Summit at the end of January 2023. The summit will include programming to introduce stakeholder to the principles and provide guidance on implementation through guidance of stakeholders.
Moving forward, the committee will continue to work on implementation of the best practices while beginning work toward crafting a framework for compliance assessment.