Monday, April 30, 2012

Asian American Trafficking Outreach Project: Survey Results!

The Asian American Trafficking Outreach Project (AATOP) survey results are here! Through AATOP, IOFA seeks to build the capacity of Asian American-serving organizations in Chicago to better identify and serve Asian American victims of human trafficking. The survey was an effort to understand the currently existing resources available.

Thank you for those who filled out the survey. A total of seven Asian American-serving organizations in the metropolitan Chicago area participated. While the pool was small, the results nonetheless provided us with a good starting point for AATOP.

First, we found out that the ethnic groups the organizations work with the most are: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino. In fact, all organizations that participated in the survey reported having served Chinese clients.

We also found that a great variety of services were available amongst the 7 organizations that participated. 6 out of 7 organizations provided counseling and legal advocacy to their clients. ESL and vocational skills training were commonly provided as well. Other answers included: community outreach, FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center), GED classes, and Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Center.

However, only two organizations reported having worked with Asian American trafficking victims.

The two organizations had multiple similarities in serving the trafficking victims. Both said they provide linguistically and culturally competent legal services, collaborate with other Asian-American-focused organizations to raise awareness of human trafficking, and conduct outreach to potential victims of human trafficking.

Both organizations identified the lack of services specifically available for Asian American trafficking victims as a challenge. Additionally, both organizations rated their current outreach efforts as “inadequate” and stated that they are in need of appropriate staff training for Asian-focused information.

Overall, the survey illustrated a serious lack of services for and outreach effort to Asian American trafficking victims. Thankfully, four organizations have expressed their interest in collaborating with IOFA on AATOP. Furthermore, the rich spectrum of other services these organizations provide serve as a solid starting point for AATOP.

In the next few weeks, IOFA plans to solidify the structure of AATOP by bringing together those who have expressed interest. In the meanwhile, we would like to reiterate our invitation to join AATOP for all organizations that have participated in the survey as well as to any other organization that may be interested. Please be a part of this opportunity to build a cohesive anti-trafficking initiative for Asian American trafficking victims in Chicago!

Meesoh Kim, Intern

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