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FAQs

What services does the NHTRC provide?

Who can contact the NHTRC?

Who answers the hotline?

What languages are available?

What are the hotline hours of operation?

What happens when I call the NHTRC for help?

Are calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center confidential? Can I get help or report a tip anonymously?

How does the NHTRC respond to cases of human trafficking? What happens after I report a tip?

How are reporting decisions made?

What is the National Human Trafficking Referral Directory?

I am a service provider, how do I add my organization to the National Human Trafficking Referral Directory or update my record?

Do you accept international inquiries?

Who operates the NHTRC?

Who funds the NHTRC?

What data does the NHTRC collect?

What is the role of the Regional Program Specialist?

I am law enforcement, how do I become part of the NHTRC referral and reporting network?


What services does the NHTRC provide?

The NHTRC supports victims and survivors, friends and family, law enforcement, service providers, government, professionals, practitioners and advocates in the human trafficking and related fields, community groups, and more through the following services:

  • Crisis assistance to victims of human trafficking
  • Report a human trafficking tip
  • Connect with anti-trafficking services in your area
  • Request training or technical assistance
  • Access general information and resources
  • Get involved in your community

For a full description of NHTRC services, click here.

 

Who can contact the NHTRC?

The NHTRC serves the United States and U.S. territories. Anyone in need of assistance and/or information and resources related to the issue of human trafficking can contact the NHTRC and access our services.

We encourage you to contact the hotline if you are a:

  • Victim or survivor of human trafficking
  • Someone who knows a potential victim of trafficking or has information about a potential trafficking case
  • Friend or family member of a trafficking victim or survivor
  • Social or legal service provider
  • Local, state, or federal law enforcement
  • Human trafficking task force or coalition
  • Practitioner or advocate in human trafficking and related fields
  • Frontline professional (e.g. educators, medical professionals)
  • Policymaker or government agency

We encourage you to visit our web site to access training tools and informational resources if you are:

  • A student or part of a student group
  • A community member or part of a community group or coalition
  • Interested in learning more about human trafficking
  • Looking for specialized training tools, resources, or training opportunities
  • Interested in raising awareness, getting involved, or volunteering

 

Who answers the hotline?

Hotline calls are answered live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by specially trained and experienced English and Spanish-speaking NHTRC Call Specialists. All Call Specialists have undergone extensive training and evaluation prior to answering hotline calls. 

 

What languages are available?

NHTRC Call Specialists speak English and Spanish and can communicate with callers in more than 200 additional languages using a 24-hour tele-interpreting service. Email and online tip report services are currently available in English and Spanish only.

 

What are the hotline hours of operation?

You can call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888 from anywhere in the U.S. and U.S. territories, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also submit online tip reports 24/7. Reports are reviewed four times daily and prioritized based on urgency by NHTRC staff and forwarded to specialized law enforcement officials and/or service providers where appropriate.

Emails are reviewed four times daily. Urgent emails are prioritized and will receive an immediate response once reviewed. The NHTRC will respond to non-urgent emails within 1-3 business days, based on the order in which they are received. For immediate assistance, call the hotline at 1-888-3737-888.

 

What happens when I call the NHTRC for help?

Your call will be answered live by a specially trained NHTRC Call Specialist. Spanish speaking Call Specialists are available and for all other languages, the NHTRC Call Specialist will conference you in with a tele-interpreting service and continue the call in your preferred language. All communication with the NHTRC is strictly confidential. You do not need to provide your name or any identifying details about your situation unless you are comfortable doing so.

The Call Specialist will ask questions to ensure that you are safe (if applicable) and determine what type of assistance you are looking for and how we can help. Once any immediate safety concerns have been addressed (if applicable), the Call Specialist is there to listen and discuss what options are available to you, based on your unique situation and needs.

If you are reporting a tip or seeking services, the NHTRC Call Specialist may conduct a brief assessment of trafficking indicators. For requests for services, the Call Specialist will also need to ask you some details about yourself such as your age, gender, nationality and status in the U.S., preferred language, and location. This information will only be used to help us locate appropriate services in your area. The NHTRC serves all victims and survivors of human trafficking regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or any other factor protected by local, state, or federal law. It is always up to the caller how much information you wish to provide.

The Call Specialist may follow up by:

  • providing safety planning recommendations and general emotional support,
  • referring or connecting you directly to local social and/or legal services,
  • making a report to our law enforcement contacts,
  • providing technical assistance and resources.

The Call Specialist will not take any action without your consent, except in circumstances where we suspect child abuse or if we have reason to believe there is imminent harm to you or others. If you just want to talk, we are here to listen.

The NHTRC is not a government entity. We are not law enforcement, immigration or an investigative agency. We are not a direct victim service provider. We help individuals access direct services through our extensive referral network and we facilitate reporting of potential human trafficking tips to specialized law enforcement agencies.

 

Are calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center confidential? Can I get help or report a tip anonymously?

Yes. All calls are confidential. The NHTRC will not share your information or confirm that you have called the hotline with anyone, including law enforcement, service providers, or other individuals or agencies, without your consent. The NHTRC will inform appropriate authorities if we suspect child abuse, have reason to believe there is imminent harm to you or others, or if we are required by law.

You can report a tip anonymously. You do not need to provide your name or any identifying details about your situation unless you are comfortable doing so. If you wish to report a tip anonymously, the NHTRC will protect your anonymity when sharing information about a potential trafficking case with appropriate authorities. 

The NHTRC does not record hotline calls. The NHTRC will use caller ID in rare circumstances when it is believed that you are in imminent danger and this information is necessary to ensure your immediate safety.

See our Confidentiality Policy for more details.

 

How does the NHTRC respond to cases of potential human trafficking? What happens after I report a tip?

The NHTRC handles reports of potential labor and sex trafficking situations, involving adults and minors, foreign nationals and US citizens, males, females, and transgender individuals. Tips may be made anonymously. Read our confidentiality policy here.

Each tip is unique and reporting decisions are made on a case-by-case basis to determine the most appropriate next steps that prioritize the safety and consent of individuals involved in the case. Every case received through the NHTRC hotline, email, or online tip report is individually reviewed and evaluated by a Supervisor to determine whether it should be passed on to an appropriate local, state, or federal investigative and/or service agency equipped to investigate the tip and/or respond to the needs of the potential victim. 

The nature of the response to a potential trafficking tip depends on the urgency of the situation, the unique needs and wishes of the victim (if known), the specificity of the information provided, the presence of indicators of severe forms of trafficking in persons, relevant state and/or federal laws, and the referral and reporting protocols established between the NHTRC and the local actors in a given area.

The NHTRC is not a law enforcement or an investigative agency. If a case is reported to law enforcement, the NHTRC cannot provide updates on the status of the case. If you receive additional information about the case, contact the NHTRC again and we can send a supplemental report to law enforcement.

Read more about how we prioritize tips and our action steps here.

 

How are reporting decisions made?

The NHTRC respects an individual's right to make the decision regarding whether or not to report information about his/her experience to law enforcement or other parties. The NHTRC recognizes that information provided to law enforcement officials can lead to increased investigations and prosecutions, deter future trafficking, and help victims safely exit situations of human trafficking. Whenever possible, the NHTRC endeavors to speak directly with victims to discuss the various reporting and referral options and receive explicit consent to make a report on his/her behalf. Consent from a victim and the safety of any individuals involved are the most important factors the NHTRC considers when weighing whether or not to make a report.

The NHTRC will inform the appropriate authorities of situations that reference the suspected abuse of a minor, potential harm to you or others, or situations where the NHTRC is required by law to report.

Read more about how we prioritize tips and our action steps here.

 

What is the National Human Trafficking Referral Directory?

The National Human Trafficking Referral Directory is a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind directory developed for the purpose of providing access to critical emergency, transitional, and long-term social service referrals for victims and survivors of human trafficking, reporting cases of potential human trafficking to specialized law enforcement and government agencies, and connecting individuals with training and technical assistance and opportunities to get involved in their communities. The directory includes direct service providers that have a designated mandate, program, staff member, and/or funding to provide social and/or legal services to victims of human trafficking, as well as indirect service that have a specific organizational or programmatic focus on the issue of human trafficking. The online directory covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. Organizations have opted-in to make their organization’s profile publicly searchable via the online directory. More information on the directory, including minimum inclusion criteria, can be found here. If you would like to recommend your organization for inclusion in this directory please email nhtrc@polarisproject.org and a staff member will respond with application instructions.

The National Human Trafficking Referral Directory does not include all available service providers and referrals. The NHTRC has also developed a robust internal directory of service providers, law enforcement, government agencies, task forces, coalitions and other organizations, individuals and collaborative initiatives working to combat human trafficking. NHTRC staff maintain regular contact with the organizations included in the directory to ensure that referrals are up-to-date, confirm referral protocols, stay informed of local anti-trafficking developments, follow up on the outcomes of referrals, and address any issues/questions that may arise. The internal directory contains more than 3,000 unique records and is accessible only to NHTRC staff for the purposes of coordinating victim service referrals across a variety of fields, and making reports of potential human trafficking to specialized law enforcement and government agencies. 

If you can’t find what you are looking for, do not see a particular organization listed, or want direct personal assistance, please call us 24/7 at 1-888-373-7888 and NHTRC .

 

I am a service provider, how do I add my organization to the National Human Trafficking Referral Directory or update my record?

If you wish to be considered for inclusion in the directory, please review the full guidelines and expectations here. If you meet the minimum inclusion criteria, you can submit your application here. Organizations can opt out of the public version of the directory if they do not wish to be accessible via the NHTRC web portal. Please allow 1-3 weeks for a response.

If you have any changes to your organization's record, please let us know as soon as possible to ensure that we are consistently providing the most up-to-date referral information. To update your organization's record in our Directory, send an email to the Regional Program Specialist who covers your area. Click here for a full list. The NHTRC will also send you an annual request for updates and the Regional Program Specialist will check in regularly to confirm that the referral process is up-to-date and effective.

 

Do you accept international calls/tips?

The NHTRC is a national anti-trafficking hotline and resource center serving individuals who are seeking assistance or reporting a case in or involving the U.S. and U.S. territories. Requests received by the NHTRC for anti-trafficking services outside of the U.S. and tips involving human trafficking occurring outside of the U.S. may be referred to Polaris' Global Hotlines Program or another agency for response.

 

Who operates the NHTRC?

The NHTRC is operated by Polaris, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedom to survivors of human trafficking. Polaris began operation of the NHTRC on December 7, 2007. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.

 

Who funds the NHTRC?

Funding and support to operate the NHTRC is currently provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other private donors and supporters.

 

What type of data does the NHTRC collect? What information is shared outside of the NHTRC?

The NHTRC collects two types of data - personally identifying information, such as location of a particular trafficking case and name of an alleged trafficker, and non-personally identifying information such as the city/state of a caller and how he/she learned about the NHTRC hotline.

The NHTRC collects personally identifying information where necessary to help a victim or survivor access services and to provide to law enforcement for the purposes of helping victims get to safety and/or investigating potential human trafficking cases. Individuals can get help or report a tip anonymously, and are asked to share only as much information as they are comfortable providing. The NHTRC will never share personally identifying information to any external agency, including law enforcement, service providers, and government agencies without the explicit permission of the caller, unless where required by law. Read more about our confidentiality policy here.

The NHTRC also collects basic, non-personally identifying information about the caller, including his/her city and state, basic demographic information and how he/she heard about the hotline, and about the type of trafficking reported, including the city and state of the trafficking situation, and the basic demographic information of the individuals involved. Using non-personally identifying information, the NHTRC produces public reports with aggregate statistics based on region, trafficking type, and/or demographics to identify trends and patterns that can help inform anti-trafficking prevention and intervention efforts at the local, state, and national levels. The NHTRC will redact or group in an "other" category data we publish regarding unique or unusual cases if we believe it could be used to identify a particular person or situation. Check out our publicly available hotline statistics here.

 

What is the role of the Regional Program Specialist?

Each state is served by a specific Regional Program Specialist based in the NHTRC headquarters office. The Regional Program Specialists coordinate all NHTRC activities and relationships in a given state which includes: serving as the point of contact for service providers and law enforcement, developing referral and reporting protocols, managing hotline cases, and providing training, technical assistance and ongoing capacity-building and support. The Regional Program Specialists also track trends across regions, help coordinate multi-jurisdictional case responses, and share information across states about innovative approaches and promising practices developing at the local level. Click here for a complete list of Regional Program Specialists.

 

I am a law enforcement agent, how do I become part of the NHTRC referral and reporting network?

The Regional Program Specialist works with service providers and law enforcement in each of his/her states to develop referral and reporting protocols that outline the hotline’s response to tips and victim emergencies in a given area where law enforcement intervention, investigation and/or immediate service needs are required. A typical regional protocol will include emergency and non-emergency law enforcement contacts, as well as referrals for services such as emergency shelter, case management, transportation, legal assistance, and other crisis services coordination. The NHTRC is seeking to engage new law enforcement partners to be part of the referral and reporting network. By connecting with the NHTRC, law enforcement has access to other law enforcement and local service providers working on this issue, important tools, technical assistance, and ongoing support from the NHTRC Regional Specialists as they work on human trafficking cases and serve victims. The NHTRC does not share law enforcement information with any external parties without express consent. Click here to contact the Regional Program Specialist about opportunities to be part of our network.