Anti-Human Trafficking Program
The Salvation Army's
New Day to Stop Trafficking Program
The Salvation Army has a long history and mission of fighting the dehumanizing horrors of human trafficking both internationally and domestically. The fight against the evil of modern day slavery is ever present in the United States, and in the state of Pennsylvania. Since 2009 The Salvation Army Philadelphia Social Service Ministries, has been an active leader in the fight against human trafficking. The Salvation Army staff co-chairs the Philadelphia Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition social service subcommittee as well as provides the location for the bi-monthly coalition meetings. As the social service committee co-chair, The Salvation Army has contributed to developing ongoing social service protocols for responding to victims of human trafficking city wide, statewide advocacy work for policy reform, and conversations with local law enforcement entities to create screening and assessment processes.
In addition to active participation and leadership on the Philadelphia Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition, The Salvation Army is fighting human trafficking through awareness raising, training, and direct services for victims of human trafficking. The direct service piece of The Salvation Army's anti-trafficking work is challenging and yet an opportunity for staff to live and breathe our mission since our early days in London, England.
Philadelphia Anti-Human Trafficking
In 2016, the Philadelphia Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force was launched to combat human trafficking with a collaborative approach of federal and local law enforcement agencies and multiple social service organizations. This lead partnership agencies include: The Salvation Army's New Day to Stop Trafficking Program, the Philadelphia Police Department, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office- Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the FBI and Homeland Security Investigation. The Salvation Army coordinates victim services with the tremendous expertise of partner social service organizations, including: Friends of Farmworkers, Nationalities Service Center, Covenant House, Dawn’s Place, Philadelphia Children's Alliance, and Villanova C-S-E Institute.
In nine areas across the United States, The Salvation Army participates in similar anti-human trafficking task forces that have been collaborating and paving the way to a new approach in dealing with this long standing, frightening dilemma. The formation of this task force is a significant step forward for Philadelphia and our region in the fight against human labor and sex trafficking. Not only will it provide victims with the help they need on their path to recovery, but it also strives to prosecute offenders as well as help to build awareness and prevention of this horrifying and ever-growing issue that is plaguing our cities and suburbs. As a task force, law enforcement and social services are now able to work together with a trauma-centered approach to gain a better understanding of the factors that may have caused men, women and minors to be forced into sex or labor trafficking.
The Salvation Army New Day Drop-In Center
The Salvation Army New Day Drop-In Center is the centerpiece of our effort to address human trafficking in Philadelphia. A vision of The Salvation Army since 2011, the center seeks to be salt and light in the community displaying the love of Christ for his people and for those who are marginalized in society.
Strategically located in the heart of the neighborhood, a simple sign on the door reading, "women only drop-in: food, clothing, toiletries" identifies the center, which is open during the day and two late nights per week when other service agencies are not available. Many of the women seen are suffering from the "force, fraud and coercive" tactics of sex trafficking and are seeking safety.
Staff work to build rapport with individuals who have had their trust violated and are trained to look for human trafficking red flags, as well as how to address the women's specialized psychological, social, emotional and physical needs. In addition to the physical drop in center space, The Salvation Army provides an array of case management services. Staff, interns and volunteers are also trained in trauma informed care, and are a consistent presence in the community. News of the center travels largely by word of mouth and through street outreach teams.
The center incorporates the Sanctuary Model for trauma informed care which includes running weekly S.E.L.F (Safety Emotions, Loss and Future) groups. There are many supporting partners of The Salvation Army New Day Drop in Center and we would like to acknowledge the unfailing support of the Charitas Foundation, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Covenant House PA, and many more individuals who have given of their time and skills to make this program possible.
What Is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will.
Sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues within the sex industry, including residential brothels, escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and street prostitution.
Labor trafficking has been found in diverse labor settings including, domestic work, small businesses, large farms, and factories.
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TRAFFICKING IN PENNSYLVANIA
According to the Global Slavery Index (2014), worldwide there are approximately 35.8 million people enslaved in labor or sex trafficking (or both). The illegal industry is estimated to bring in $150 billion annually (International Labor Organization, 2014)—more than Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Nike’s annual income combined.
As a “pass-through” state, victims are trafficked through Pennsylvania in route to other destinations and within the state borders. The state’s highways are used to transport victims between trafficking hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Ohio, and to the I-95 corridor that gives access to Maryland, DC, Georgia and Florida. The stretch of US 11 that connects I-81 to I-76 is known locally as the “Miracle Mile” not only for its restaurants and shops, but also for the truck stops that host sex-trafficking fronts.