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Measuring Human Trafficking: Lessons from New York City

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2008
135 pages
Developing a screening tool to identify likely victims of trafficking and an accompanying toolkit for service providers, the New York City Trafficking Assessment Project (NYCTAP) is presented along with lessons learned and recommendations in the application of the NYCTAP.
Knowledge of the scale of social problems is critical in commanding attention and sparking action. When problems are identified and quantified, it becomes possible to propose measured solutions. The NYCTAP focused on applied measurement. Recognizing that the field of research and practice lacked the tools to reliably identify victims of human trafficking, the NYCTAP concentrated on developing those tools, collaborating with stakeholders. The NYCTAP designed a trafficking victim screening tool to collect standardized data on victims. The NYCTAP applied the screening tool in the field, paying attention to how location and administration affect measurement processes and outcome. In addition to the victim screening tool, the NYCTAP produced a trafficking screening toolkit. Lessons learned in the pilot form the basis for three sets of recommendations to (1) improve victim identification and data collection on human trafficking, (2) design a standardized trafficking victim screening tool and supporting toolkit for its administration, and (3) validate a standardized trafficking victim screening tool. The NYCTAP was undertaken to respond to the pressing need for more accurate measurements of human trafficking. The NYCTAP resolved to improve the identification of victim trafficking by partnering with a set of diverse local stakeholders. The main goal was to develop a screening tool to identify likely victims of trafficking and an accompanying toolkit for service providers to support the administration of the screening tool. Appendix 1-8

Date Published: August 1, 2008