S.O.S. – SAVE ONE SOUL – ANTI-TRAFFICKING PROGRAM
The Anti-Trafficking program seeks to raise awareness and take advantage of the underutilized number of T-visas. Many of the victims of trafficking are not identified due to lack of awareness about the crime. In the United States, 5000 T-visas are made available every year. In 10 years, just over 1500 have been granted. At BKC, our goal is to increase this number dramatically. Building on our successful services to trafficked victims, we aim to provide training and consultation to other organizations seeing these victims.
Dottie Laster, our Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, is an accredited representative recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals under BKC. She is a nationally recognized expert in the field of human trafficking. She has been trained by the Department of Justice to train law enforcement on human trafficking. She has been the architect and leader of human trafficking task forces and coalitions in many cities in Texas and California. In her 8 year career she has been directly and indirectly responsible for the rescue and service of over 200 victims of trafficking in the United States.
For FY2005, the Department of Justice (DOJ) estimated that there were between 14,500 and 17,500 victims trafficked into the United States each year. As of August 2008, this remains the most recent U.S. government estimate of trafficking victims. This estimate of 14,500 to 17,500 victims first appeared in the 2004 report, Assessment of U.S. Government Activities to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and subsequent reports have not included estimates of the number of trafficking victims.
However, numbers of victims granted T-Visas as victims of trafficking average only 155 per year.