U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Participants: Minh Dang, Harold D’Souza, Tina Frundt, Evelyn Chumbow, Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman, Flor Molina, Ronny Marty, Sheila White, Bukola Love Oriola.
HONORABLE MINH DANG: Good morning everyone. Please take your seats. We want to get started so that we have enough time to hear from everyone here. These chairs are available. We're not scary, I promise. So some housekeeping things. The bathrooms are over here, so you'll have to climb over about 12 people before you get there. And we ask you to silence your phones.
We are happy if you want to tweet the event. It's on your agenda. It's hash tag survivor voices count and hashtag end trafficing-- yes, end trafficking. All right. With that, I'm going to turn it over to Bukola.
HONORABLE BUKOLA LOVE ORIOLA: Thank you, Flor Molina. Oh, sorry. Minh. I have poor eye sight this morning. Thank you all for coming this morning. We really appreciate your time and efforts. We know some of you come from far away. So thank you for honoring today with us. We are glad that you are here. And I'm going to start my opening remarks. Pardon me, they made me to write these to read. I'm not at good reading, but I will try my best.
Members of the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking in Persons. Members of the Senior Policy Operating Group, federal and state agencies, nonprofits, NGOs, and community members. Ladies and gentlemen, it is we sincere gratitude and honor that I welcome you to the first annual report of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.
The Advisory Council--
The Advisory Council on Human Trafficking is comprised of 11 survivor leaders who bring their knowledge, and experience, and advice to provide recommendations to FEDRA and to trafficking policies to the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking in Persons. The council was established in May 2015 by Section 115 of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, also known as the Survivors of Human Trafficking Impoundment Act.
And in December 2015, President Barack Obama appointed 11 members of the council. Namely, Honorable Shandra Woworuntu, Honorable Ronny Marty, Honorable Ima Maisaroh, Honorable Minh Dang, Honorable Harold D'Souza, Honorable Evelyn Chumbow, Honorable Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman, Honorable Flor Molina, Honorable Tina Frundt, Honorable Sheila White, and myself, Honorable Bukola Love Oriola.
This report provides actionable recommendations to the U.S. government for its work, both nationally and internationally, as it collaborates with state and local government, NGOs, faith based organizations, community members, businesses, and philanthropies to further engage survivors to prevent human trafficking.
And then bring survivors as allies, for lasting solution to this heinous crime. For each topic addressed, the report provides an overview, identifies three recommendations to improve federal anti-trafficking policies, highlights areas for future collaboration.
This report will help the federal government understand how to implement policies that will better the lives of survivors of human trafficking within and outside the United States. It is commendable to see the United States taking the lead among nations around the world to place survivors in key roles, such as the appointment by President Obama of the first U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Which provides a formal platform for human trafficking survivors to advice and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies.
It is encouraging to learn that the Obama administration recognizes the enormous value that survivors of human trafficking bring to combat this 150 billion criminal industry. Survivors of human trafficking have a compelling role to play in combating human trafficking throughout the world.
As subject matter experts, survivors bring a profound understanding of human trafficking based on their direct experiences. They provided the clues investigators need as evidence in court. As well as this signs a community needs to recognize trafficking to prevent its citizenry from becoming victims. Thank you all once again for your time. And God bless you.
MS. DANG: Thank you Honorable Bukola. There are some open seats on this side, so please come on all the way in. All right. So today you're going to hear from five of our committees. These committees are organized primarily based on the committees that the senior policy operating group is divided by.
So three of them-- they are public awareness, victim services, and grant making. Those committees match the senior policy operating group committees. Two of them, Rule of Law and Labor Laws, were developed out of our own initiative based on what we saw was needed in terms of recommendations.
We regret that two of our council members were not able to join us today, the Honorable Ima Matul and Shandra Woworuntu. They're actually doing anti-trafficking work abroad right now. So we thank them for doing that.
We're not going to go into deep bio's as you have those, and you can read them. Each committee will have about 10 minutes to speak. They'll be asked the same questions. We are going to do Q&A at the end. The note cards on your seat are for those questions. There will be a time where we'll ask you to pass them to the end of the row. And we're going to pick from those questions. And then we hope you will join us at the end for a reception. You all ready?
SPEAKER: Let's do it.
MS. DANG: OK. Oh. There is one committee that I forgot to mention. The one that I was on, which is the Protocols and Procedures Committee. So that one we won't bore you too many with the details, but it is the committee that defines how we do our work. So that's decision making, procedures, what's a quorum, what is our leadership structure. So you can ask us about that after. But we want to get into the meat of the report today. All right.
So we will first hear from the Rule of Law Committee which is the Honorable Harold and the Honorable Tina. So first, please describe what your committee focused on. One policy or program that you saw that's working well and why it's effective.
HONORABLE TINA FRUNDT: You know, the rule of law, I think, it was much needed. Which is why we created it within. And the reason why is because there is no training that's consistent within the federal government on human trafficking, all forms. There is no consistency.
So what we really wanted to do with that to make sure there it is consistent. And that includes all forms of trafficking, and it also includes more of the pieces of how people are trafficked within. But the most important part is that survivor leaders are also recognized within that. Meaning, training with law enforcement as well.
And helping not only tell the story, but pulling our story for factuals of what actually happens when we are trafficked. So therefore, that we can train the police with all the information they need. So they can get the traffickers, and they can get the whole entire network. And that was really important for us to focus on that. And it's different, but it's much needed. And so therefore, that means that in every city we really hope it trickles down where survivors are also training where we help create that curriculum.
MS. DANG: Thank you. And now please tell us what are two key recommendations that your committee made in the report?
HONORABLE HAROLD D'SOUZA: Sorry. It was a very interesting and exciting working for the Rule of Law. And the two strong recommendations which we did was to reduce the gap and minimize in the knowledge and awareness in training all forms of human trafficking.
And the second most is that to engage, empower, and involve all the survivors so they can be involved and be a part of training all of the law enforcement agencies. And we had one more-- we were talking about the coast, like club owners against sex trafficking. Thank you.
MS. DANG: What are some future goals for your committee and/or collaborations that you hope to see?
MS. FRUNDT: Well, one of them he just mentioned. So I'm not sure if you're all aware of the coast training-- the strip club training. We really want to help with making sure that's done correctly. And making sure that everyone's informed about also criminal activities inside of strip clubs, as well. And I'm working with them on that.
The other piece that we think is really important, again, back to the full curriculum of consistency of training. So helping with the correct manuals, but also making it into one. So that everyone is trained consistently within the federal system of how to, basically, work with trafficking, how to work with the survivors. But also how to build the cases and the inside information that we all haven't and share.
So I think that's a wonderful partnership of working with what's already been going on within the Federal Law Enforcement. And they've been doing a wonderful job. So we just want to help and partner with that.
MS. DANG: Is there anything else that your committee would like to share with the group? No. But I do say please read all the recommendations. And I think it's very important to continue having survivor leadership. And I think that's one of the biggest changes that was also much needed without everything you'll hear today.
MR. D'SOUZA: Just one note. I want to share is that truly, like all, we have been empowered here as the advisory council member. It's a pure reflection of all the efforts you have put in combating human trafficking worldwide. Thank you.
MS. DANG: I think what's also important about the Rule of Law Committee is that often we talk about the rule of law abroad, right? There's a concern about corruption and law enforcement corruption abroad and in international communities, but we don't talk about it here. So I think an emphasis on our law enforcement system and being critical about it here as well is really important for us. All right. Thank you.
So next, for our Public Awareness Committee, we have the Honorable Evelyn. So Evelyn, please start by describing what your committee focused on. And share one program or policy that was working well and why it was a factor.
HONORABLE EVELYN CHUMBOW: Thank you Honorable Minh. Thank you all for being here. So again, I'm with the Public Awareness Committee and my colleague was Ima and she's not here. But I will share on behalf of her and me. So in our-- what was important, really, when it comes to public awareness, I think the most thing that all of us on the panel wanted to talk about is image.
Image was very important and diversity. Because most of the time when you are describing human trafficking, or when you have an image on television, or some of the organizations that you work with that you have a little pamphlet that has an image, it does not represent diversity. You know, like right now, look at this panel. This panel is somewhat diverse. We are getting there. It's getting there.
But diversity is very important because an image is very important. Because when people think about human trafficking as a public awareness, people only see this thing of that-- OK, human trafficking is probably someone from Asia that has been trafficked. But that's not the truth.
As you can see, again, in the panel, it's many of us. So we made that recommendation that when you want to talk about human trafficking you have to add diversity to it. And look at everybody that's involved in it. Anybody can be a victim. So image was definitely one of the most important things when it comes to public awareness.
MS. DANG: And what are two key recommendations that your committee made in the report?
MS. CHUMBOW: Well, the first one, of course, I probably already mentioned it. But the first one which is important, we definitely need a commercial. A television and radio announcement and things like that because, again, this is a movement that we're trying to help end. And this is a movement that is about human life.
If you can have a commercial about HIV, condoms, why can't you have a commercial that shows you the people that have been trafficked? And if that victim is in that situation, they can call that number. That 1-800 number that we have, they can see it on that commercial and call it.
So having a television commercial is definitely something that we recommended and a public radio announcement. We need that. So those were the two major import and recommendations.
MS. DANG: What are some future collaborations or goals for your committee?
MS. CHUMBOW: Well, for my committee, the future collaboration goals would be you all here. And what I have seen in this movement is that a lot of us don't work together. And the recommendation was to have us collaborate together, work together. And try to get more like earlier, like my colleague Tina said, just have more survivors out there to help you.
We have this council, we're here to help you, we're willing to help you. So just add us, just collaborate with us. I know, yes, we ask for money most of the time, but we need it. That we can get there to help you. So that is it. Collaborate with your survivors. That's why the president made that nomination. To have us help you because we want to do it. Thank you.
MS. DANG: Thank you. And just a reminder to start writing questions on your cards if you haven't already. OK. So next we have the Victim Services Committee. And that is the Honorable Suamhirs and the Honorable Flor. So if you could start by describing what your committee focused on. And one program that's working well and why it's effective.
HONORABLE FLOR MOLINA: OK. Our committee is focus on victim services. OK. One thing that has been working well, and I could say that our recommendations have been heard. And just to mention that two weeks ago, DHS Blue Campaign was signed at the Los Angeles Major's office. And one of the invites of personnel that was there was also housing. Because it's one of our recommendations that we have seen that human trafficking survivors when that came out from the situation it's really hard to get housing.
So one thing that is working well, I think-- at least, I could tell that there are efforts to bring this personnel to the table for better services for human trafficking survivors.
HONORABLE SUAMIRS PIRAINO GUZMAN: And just to add to that, I think, when we're thinking of victim services, we struggled a bit because we use our own personal experience perhaps-- our own life experience as survivor of human trafficking. To try to see, what is the best way service providers can see us as a whole? And provide us with a holistic services.
That it just focus on us, on our physical well-being, but also emotional well being, and spiritual well-being. And that was something that we struggle a lot. But finally we came down with two recommendations that I'm going to share with you in a minute.
But it was very important for all of us to really talk about what victim services should look like. And how can we receive support from-- and perhaps, how can we recommend to the federal government how to better use their money to support victims to cross the bridge to become a survivor of human trafficking.
MS. DANG: So Honorable council member, what are your two key recommendations?
MR. PIRAINO-GUZMAN: To start with that one, I think, like I said, we struggle a lot to find out what was going to be the primary recommendations we can give. Number one, we came out with ideas as a survivor of human trafficking.
There is gaps. There's gaps in services to male victims of human trafficking, especially sex trafficking receives. And someone who was a child when this happened, there was perhaps a different level of support. Yet, I wasn't seen as-- I think people rather see me as a victim of labor traffic than in sex trafficking because it's was more like a taboo, right?
So our first recommendation was really to provide services across the board to everyone and anyone no matter the age, gender, sex orientation, whatever you want to call it. No matter what, that individual is going to receive the same level of support as someone who is straight, someone who's gay, someone who's a male, someone who's a female, someone's who's transgender. No matter what, the individual's going to get the same level of support.
And personally, we saw that there's the gaps in support that males receive and we want to bridge that gap to make sure the males also have the right kind of support for them to overcome the victimization. And working with Flor to-- Flor shared that we also see a gap of support for that senior survivors of human trafficking. Right.
So there's a level of support to survivors who are see in the senior age, yet there's nothing within the statute that provides specific support for survivors of human trafficking at that age and stage in life. So we also made a recommendation based on that. And wanted to make sure that the senior survivors also get the same level of support of someone who was young.
MS. DANG: Thank you. What are some future collaborations or future goals for your committee?
MR. PIRAINO-GUZMAN: OK. Again, we struggle a lot to find out because there was so much we wanted to say as far as the future collaboration. But we definitely wanted to see, again-- we talked about tools, right? What kind of screening tools can we use across the board, so we minimized the level of, perhaps, of people who are not getting support based on their gender, based on their sexuality.
But we believe that if we actually are able to have one tool being used across the board to all service providers then we can minimize the gap of people who are now receiving services because they're being screened with different tools, right? So we have one standardize tools that is actually providing-- that's going to make sure the level of support that everyone needs. And no matter what, the person has to receive services, right? Of course, they qualify, but I think that was one of the future collaborations they wanted to see happening.
MS. DANG: Is there anything else that your committee would like to share?
MR. PIRAINO-GUZMAN: Huh?
MS. DANG: Is there anything else that your committee would like to share?
MS. MOLINA: Yeah The section about housing-- we also give the recommendation about housing because we have seen that there is a lot of new housing and there are a lot of requirements for human trafficking survivors. So our recommendation is to minimize and if it's possible, to create an intake form-- there's questions that could be identified as victims of human trafficking. And therefore, to get a prioritized [INAUDIBLE] for them to get housing services.
Because we have seen that housing services is one of the major, major things for human trafficking to survivors. Because oftentimes they have to live in the same area where the trafficker is therefore, their life is at risk.
MS. DANG: So I think what you're saying is similar to how domestic violence victims have a priority code, have a human trafficking victim priority code.
MS. MOLINA: Yes. Priority code.
MS. DANG: Got it. Thank you.
MR. PIRAINO-GUZMAN: We're asking for too much.
MS. DANG: All right. Thank you. Next we have the Labor Laws Committee. And that is the Honorable Ronny. So Ronny, please tell us what your committee focused on. And what is one successful program or policy that you saw and why it's effective.
HONORABLE RONNY MARTY: Thank you Honorable Minh. Our committee focused on those industries that are hiring a large number of [INAUDIBLE] workers. It's like the hospitality industry, agriculture, and construction. So we are focusing in those. And it is because it is a priority to really protect the workers. And that's why we were focusing on that.
Those industry are growing so fast. And as they are growing, they're also creating more jobs. But what they are doing, they are hiring people with low income. People that are here seasonal or temporary workers, is what they're doing. So I think for DOL, they will need help with funding actually too. Because as the industry is growing, they need more investigations to be done so that they can spread around and really start working on that.
And one thing that I believe-- they have a few programs that always protect workers' rights. But one that I've seen that is working really good is employee protection. And the law mandates that all helps should be giving to someone who has been complaining about somebody who it's exploitating or is violating the rights, maybe by their employer. And what comes with that-- when that happens and the employee made the complaint, and they can actually get some remedy on that.
So that's what we want to also bring out that they don't have to be worried about anything. They have to report the complaint. And the remedy will be that they maybe get the job reinstatement or those back wages that they didn't get paid. They will get those paid. And we have seen that in survivors. That they went through working extra time, over time and they never got paid. But once they made the complaint, they got the money. So it's a program that is working well.
MS. DANG: Thank you. What are two key recommendations that your committee made in the report?
MR. MARTY: One it's-- I can say, it's all about those industries. That I think DOL should increase investigations in those company-- like those industry, like I said. It's hospitality industry, agriculture, and construction. Because this is a potential-- it's where we can identify potential victims of exploitations and also human trafficking victims or human trafficking cases.
So I believe they get some kind of collaboration with other agencies that it can help them to really investigate. They are doing a really good job, but they can do much better.
MS. DANG: What--
MR. MARTY: Another-- Yeah. Yeah. I'm sorry to interrupt you. But another recommendation that we made is about the age requirement and background checks. We believe in age requirements-- and I'm talking about by those employment assistance programs, that is they should be for everyone, not just for youth or people from 16 to 24.
They should be for every single one, especially, in those cases of survivors. Because survivors-- they should have the opportunity and the chance to really do much better in life, to advance in life. And I believe if they get that chance, removing the age requirement to get that assistance, that will be really good. That's going to help survivors. It doesn't-- regardless of the age, I mean, you need to have that chance to really do better, to have an opportunity. You know.
And also, to remove the background checks it's because-- what is happening, and I hear a lot of survivors talking about that. It's so sad when I hear that. And it's-- that because of the situation that they went through they have been criminalized for something they didn't do. They were involved because it was the situation that they went through.
But they have been like blamed for a crime that somebody committed against them. So for them it's difficult to get a job because of that. Sometimes to get housing just because of that. We have some of the survivor leaders their struggling because of what happened to them. So I think there should be a code to help us with that.
MS. DANG: Thank you. What are future goals for your committee and/or future collaborations you'd like to see?
MR. MARTY: I believe it's the same as like everybody has mentioned. But it's-- we need to see more involvement of survivors in creating programs and trainings. You know, everything related on human trafficking so that we can partner with government agencies. Not only DOL, in this case, but within all government agencies so that we can bring our expertise and that we can become recommendations, and collaborate, and help.
MS. DANG: Thank you. And anything else you want to share from your committee?
MR. MARTY: Yeah. Actually, I want to also talk about something that we want to see pretty quick. And it's a concern that we have when we were doing the research. Is those children, like child exploitation-- those children that are in the street begging for money. Those children are in the streets selling candies. So something should be done. And I know they all can't do it by themselves, but they can get help from other agencies and investigating and really make it to stop that from happening.
And something that I want to add. I just want to say thank you for you all for being here, for attending to this event. I really appreciate it. I want to thank first, God. Because this is a great opportunity just to be in the council. And this committee is a great opportunity and I thank God for that.
I feel blessed, happy, and I believe this is a victory for all of us. All of us. This is not a council. I mean, this is the work of everybody putting in here. So thank you so much for that.
And I don't want to forget to mention that my partner, Chandra, she's not here. But she did a really good job. We worked so well together. She's not here, but she's working overseas. She's doing some anti-trafficking work, so good for her. Thank you.
MS. DANG: And last but not least, the Grantmaking Committee and the Honorable Sheila White.
HONORABLE SHEILA WHITE: Hi everyone.
MS. DANG: Oh. Please describe what your committee focused on. And what is one policy or program that you saw working well and why it's effective?
MS. WHITE: Our goal within the Grantmaking Committee is to increase the involvement and overall leadership of survivors. We have found the 2012 promising practices document, developed by the Senior Policy Operating Group outlines as a good starting place when it comes to resources.
This document is effective because it shows the various ways in which services are being implemented to address key problems, both nationally and internationally. This document has the potential to spearhead the direction in which we need to provide comprehensive and holistic support to survivors of human trafficking.
The more we can document about what is actually working when serving the human trafficking population, the more we can identify the trends and services that are the most reliable and consistent, to meet the needs of human trafficking survivors as they heal. Each agency that makes up the Grantmaking Committee will undeniably face some challenges around updating this document with relevant information, given their own limitations around what they define as best practices.
Despite these limitations, we encourage the Grantmaking Committee to collaborate and work closely with survivors moving forward so identify the best practices within the broader topic, such as survivor leadership and how to best support survivors who are already working in their communities.
MS. DANG: Thank you. What are two key recommendations that your committee made in the report?
MS. WHITE: Two main key recommendations that we made in the report-- we really focused on survival leadership and increasing economic opportunities for survivors. Because I really believe that we have to start-- we have to redefine how we are defining economic opportunities for survivors.
Because there's a lot of money and resources being poured into like, you know, just basic like-- well, rescuing and victim services. But what happens after-- you know, what's the next step for that victim. What does his or her life look like after she has left the exploitation.
So we've really put a focus on encourage the Grantmaking Committee to invest funding in creating more pathways for survivors to pursue. You know, additional, like, career goals, whether that's skill development, going back to college, scholarships, financial literacy programs. You know, just having that extra step can go a long way in the survivor's life. And we really, really believe that's really important.
Another recommendation is involving survivors in the grantmaking process. We want to see survivors be a part of the process, whether that's the solicitation process, whether that's the peer review process of grants, because we want to ensure that the money is actually going to services and going to the resources that's going to benefit survivors the best. And we also want to make sure that, like, the reexploitation of survivors is not happening.
MS. WHITE: Right. Because that's something that I feel like we don't really talk about, but it's real. It's a real thing that's happening. Because when you think about it, right, this is a population that's already at a disadvantage. And they're coming from, you know, a lot of different backgrounds where they don't have the resources or support. So they're at a disadvantage.
And they can be easily taken advantage of even after they got-- even after they left the exploitation that started-- that they started in. They can be taken advantage by someone else in the workplace. They can be taken advantage by an organization. They can be exploited through their story. They can be exploited in a lot of different ways. And I really believe that that's something that we have to get on board about and speak about.
So that was a part of the recommendation. Also just the Grantmaking Committee to support more survivor led trainings, survivor created curricula. Because, right, like, we are the experts in this matter, right. Like, nothing about us without us. Right.
So there needs to be a significant-- like a significant exchange in funding to support more survivor initiatives across the country. Because survivors are doing amazing work, not just the council, but in their communities, on the ground level. Really just being involved and engaging their community in so many ways. So we need to have like the proper funding to support those efforts.
MS. DANG: What other collaborations do you want to see or future goals of your committee?
MS. WHITE: The collaborations that we would like to work on with the Grantmaking Committee is just being more involved. Like, having more survivor participation and involvement in the grantmaking process. And really understanding how the six agencies that make up the Grantmaking Committee share information.
Because we do feel like there is a level of-- it's a gap in communication amongst the six agencies around, like, what's actually working and what's actually, like, helpful as far as like grants and services. So we would like to just be on board and figure out like the best way things can be communicated. And just be-- any support that they need.
MS. DANG: Is there anything else you'd like to share from your committee?
MS. WHITE: No. I just-- I just want to say thank you to everyone. This experience, and just being on the council, and working closely with everyone on the Council has been amazing. I'm sorry that Ima's not here because she's overseas working. But we have put a lot of work-- all of us have. And it's exciting to share this moment with you. So thank you.
MS. DANG: So as I asked the council the first question, you all were really quick and didn't use all your time. So please pass your questions down. Raise your hand to DOS staff that are going to collect them, and they'll get them to me.
While they do that though, the first question I have for the council here, going off of what you talked about, Sheila. One of the recommendations that didn't come from one specific committee was about compensation. So can any of you talk to the recommendation for the council to be compensated? And I will just say that this is an unfunded mandate. And the DOS office has been very generous and kind in helping us get to D.C., and giving us per diem's and all of that. But this is an unfunded mandate. So we talked about compensation.
MR. PIRAMINO GUZMAN: Can we give a quick shout out though to the State Department people because they have been amazing.
MS. CHUMBOW: Yes. Shout out. Yes.
Thank you for dealing with our craziness.
MR. PIRAMINO-GUZMAN: With her.
MR. D'SOUZA: Yeah. That's a million dollar question, especially from the victims and survivors. Just to give a small synopsis on what is going on in the mind of all of the survivors sitting all here and across in the nation. Is that on my right, on my left, there's a person like-- she's a mother, she's a daughter. I'm a father, I'm a son, I'm a husband, and we have kids. So we need to survive.
What happens is that in most of the cases, the challenges faced by a most of the survivors is, like, they get stigmatized. And I think, like, Sheila said that we get revictimized. It's a reality. It's a bitter truth. It's a golden opportunity that I think, in the history of the United States of America, that these survivors have been appointed on the United States Advisory Council.
So a big step has been taken. But truly, also, we are facing a lot of challenges. It is [INAUDIBLE] all sitting here, smiling, well dressed, and trying to be on our best behavior.
But there are very, very big, huge financial crisis going on in our life, as of now, as this very moment. And I can enforce it for tomorrow because we have kids. And this is not a weakness. But that everybody has talent, everybody has passion, everybody has education.
If you-- I was making a presentation at the UN that three things happen in the life of a victim. Number one, that whenever a victim shares his story, that what happens to him, people sympathize. People start liking him. You know.
Then number two, then when they start getting involved, maybe, the service provided and law enforcement agencies they say, OK. They love him. But the survivor or the victim needs the third thing. He doesn't only want to be liked or loved. He needs to be respected as a common human being.
And that could only happen when you empower him. And empowerment will come when he's self independent. Like when he's financially free. We want to be financially free like you. I'll be very honest, thank you.
MS. FRUNDT: So let's take away the word survivor for a moment. And let's talk about the person who helps a program, who writes a curriculum, who trains people, who goes over grants, who helps you get funding, and that's called a consultant. Which is one and the same as a survivor being a consultant.
If we took away the word survivor, then we say, oh, that's a consultant. And we will pay them the regular fee that we're supposed to pay them because they are consulting and giving valuable information. But then we put the word survivor in front of that and we say, how dare you ask for money. Why would you need that? Why wouldn't you want to just help out of the goodness of heart? Telling your story will make you feel better. But help my program, but it will help you feel better.
And so we would never do that if it was a consultant because there are labor laws, right? There are labor laws. There's, again, things on that we could not be able to do. But if we threw the word survivor in it, then we're helping our program by giving information, but not hiring the person that actually gave you information to help more people.
And that's all we were saying, is that we just want to be treated just like he said, and everyone else will say. Just like you would normally treat someone in consultant and value them.
MS. CHUMBOW: As you all know it's my favorite topic. And I'm glad that I'm not alone in this. All of us in this. Again, everybody has said it, all of us have said it, be revictimized. You know, just think about it. Like Tina said it, Harold said it, and Sheila, you cannot ask us to come to your event and think that we have the set of money. Even though we-- you know, we happy, we want to do it.
We understand humanitarian activists don't make that much. But there are some that do make a lot because I've checked their speaking fee. They get paid $5,000 just to speak for like 30 minutes.
You know, but you are getting it from the real source. You are getting it from the people that have been there, that have lived it. And they're helping you to help solve the problem. But they also have financial needs. Because you can't talk about you want to end modern day slavery, and then force labor.
You're forcing people to work for free. But then you want us to come and work for you for free. How does that look? Just look at that. How does that really look? And you wonder why we're still on the street begging. Or we're out there asking you, please can you borrow me $7 or $8 to buy something. I have a son that needs to eat. Sometimes we are so ashamed to do that, but we don't have a choice. So just think about that when you ask us to come speak.
MS. WHITE: I want to say something too, but--
MS. MOLINA: Yeah. Yeah. I think we all have been there. We have been asked to go and speak at the huge audience. And we are good to deliver the message, to share our story. But when the need comes to compensation, they said, oh, it's good that you shared your story. You're helping others. Yes. But I have to pay my rent. I have to put food on the table for my kids.
It seems that the survivor is only good to tell their stories, but they are not good to get compensated. We are good to educate, to train law enforcement, but we are not good to get compensated. And it's good, and we have done it for free because it's our passion. Because we want other survivors to be free.
But also, how can we be free when we are not able to provide for ourselves or our families. Just think about it. Who does anything for free? And as my-- my other council members mention, it's good that we come and share our stories, but-- yeah.
When we go back home we don't have anything-- anything to bring home, anything to provide for our children. We live with our families. We have a life. And we are being revictimized. So just think about it.
If you contract a person, an expert, who hasn't been there, who has learned in the books, who has searched on the internet. And we have come to share our life story because we've been there. We know what it's like. And we are not doing it for fame. We are not doing it for money. But also, we need to pay our rent. Just think about it.
MS. WHITE: I just want to say one thing. I'm going to keep it short because I know we're like going on this topic. But I just want to say that what makes us experts is actually not-- it's not the telling of our stories. It's the fact that we have this experience.
And as a survivor I, and we, shall all feel comfortable to be-- to step out of that survivor box. Right. Like we shouldn't feel pressured to be pigeonholed into a survivor role, or an advocacy role, or that's the only thing that we're good at is telling our stories. Because we're good at a lot of different things.
And we bring perspective and knowledge and expertise on this issue that literally has nothing to do with our personal trauma stories. It doesn't. So I just want, you know, to really say that and acknowledge that. Right. Like we need to create more spaces and opportunities for survivors to feel comfortable to step outside of that box and be literally more than just what they experience.
MS. ORIOLA: Thank you all. I would like to add, I will be directing mine to Congress. And this council is a great first step for Congress. We need to be compensated. We've been working our butts off. In fact, I was on the plane yesterday using one hand to carry my luggage and using one hand to send e-mail on my phone for this event. So please, we need Congress to amend this law to compensate us. That is where we start from.
If we're asking, you know, NGOs and other agencies to pay survivors, and Congress is passing a law, that is [INAUDIBLE] to reexploiting survivors. How would that work in our communities? So please, I hope Congress members are listening to first of all, amend this law to compensate for our labor. It's work that we have been doing and hard work.
Thank God for [INAUDIBLE] office. They've been working, but they have been getting paid for working. We have been working and we're not getting paid for this work. And we are not happy about survivor exploitation. I think has to start from Congress. Thank you.
MS. DANG: Thank you council members. So I wanted to linger on that because that's a very important topic to us. And you'll hear us say it. I know other survivor leaders before us have said it for many, many years. But we need to keep saying it. And I think, just so everyone knows, the bill that created the council sunsets in 2020. So you can start advocating now.
We were encouraged to pass the bill without adding a funding component. That was originally part of it, was to have a financial component to it. It got passed because it was-- it was not part of it. So as we imagine the next bill, to really push for funding for that.
So a great question from the audience I want to ask you. I'm going to ask for two respondents only. What recommendations do you have for organizations in geographic areas where there may be a need, but not identified survivor leaders? Or those wanting to lead or participate. So what do you recommend areas where there aren't survivor leaders who've self-identified? Evelyn or Flor?
MS. MOLINA: I would like to answer that. I think first of all, to invite other leader survivors. In this way, to train NGOs on how-- or to create questions that will help them identify victims. And being the survivor there as a leader, other survivors may identify themselves as victims of-- as human trafficking victims. And this will help them to cross the bridge from victims to survivors.
MS. WHITE: No. I was just going to say, I think if there's no identifiable like survivors in your community, I think you just need to reach out and partner with like the agencies within your community that are serving, maybe, like, the homeless population, or like group homes, or other places where survivors-- other professionals that the survivors come in contact with.
So that way when they do encounter survivors, they can refer that person to you and that way you can start. They can know that you exist. And then eventually, they'll-- more and more survivors will come. So I think just having that community aspect is good. And then also, just reaching out to, maybe, other survivor leaders that may be close by to maybe come in and do a focus group, or run a group, or something of that nature I think will be helpful.
MS. DANG: Did you want to respond?
MR. PIRAMINO-GUZMAN: I'm just going to take a minute. The rural communities-- so communities that are not kind of like in the central areas of the country. I think they struggle a lot getting survivors. I think you have the culture barrier. Then you have perhaps, not just the individual's culture barrier, but also the culture of the community barrier. And that because you're so small you do not want to be identified as a victim of human trafficking because there's the [INAUDIBLE], shame, and all that kind of stuff.
So I think it will-- and this population specifically, I would start with the language you're using to seek out. Or how can you want to reach out to survivors, right? For me, personal language is important. I mean, to start with, I think I will stop calling it human trafficking. I would just call it something else, you know.
If you are working with a specific population of children don't ask them-- I won't talk about specific questions about rape or questions about this. I mean, a great training is motivational interview and how to ask questions that you want people to answer, but without actually asking the question directly, right. I think that's an important, important tool that you can use in the rural communities. So start with the language.
Be resourceful with your network. And Sheila has an amazing point. Work with other organizations, shelters, group homes, foster care, other organizations that work with people who are at risk as well. And that's how you start to find a population. Now when you go there and work with those people, change the language, change the way you're actually approaching them, and how to help you identify victims of human trafficking.
And remember, we only use victim at this stage of getting people out of the victimization. But we want people to get to cross the bridge to become a survivor. And all of that starts with you actually being able to provide them with the correct services.
MS. DANG: Thank you. So the next question, I think, for the Rule of Law Committee. So how do you help convince law enforcement who are resistant to allow survivors to be part of their efforts to fight human trafficking?
MS. FRUNDT: Hi, my name is Tina. So I actually think, to be honest, on the ground I actually find that there are a lot of law enforcement, actually, that do want the help then, and also want to learn the networks and things more. I do think it's law enforcement.
So I do think that you have to prove yourself because you're kind of coming in. That doesn't really matter to me. And I think it doesn't matter to a lot of survivors either. Like, we're OK with that.
The thing about that is this though, I think everyone has to put aside your own you, right? So meaning that, is this really about helping survivors, and making cases, and getting traffickers in jail and in longer time? Or this is about your ego?
Because if it's really about that, then you're going to put your ego aside and work together. Because I'm not saying I have more knowledge than you at all. I'm saying that I want to give you more knowledge so you can do your job. That's it. That's my motive. And that's most of the survivors-- that's their motive. Our only motive is helping more people.
So I think once we put that aside, I do actually find that there are a lot of law enforcement that aren't happy with just arresting people over, and over, and over again, because they realize that they're not being helped that way. And they're not getting the services, which means you don't get a case, right?
And so I think it's important. I do think it's workable. And that if you want a different outcome, and if you have a task force, but you have no prosecutions, then I think that should start showing light that maybe I need to do something different think outside the box and engage survivors more with that.
MR. D'SOUZA: Yeah. I just wanted to share is that by engaging survivors by the law enforcement agencies to train them, it does two good things. Number one, that the survivors are not there to compete. They're there to collaborate.
Number two, that it's not about ego, it is about communication. Because it is going to facilitate the law enforcement agencies because the victims are here. The law enforcement agencies are here at this level. For any victim to take one step is a huge, huge struggle. But our law enforcement agencies can come down or a survivor who's [INAUDIBLE] can bridge the gap, and fast forward the case, and help the law enforcement agencies.
So it's eventually just helping the law enforcement agencies to prosecute the perpetrator. And one more thing I just wanted to share is that we need to focus on the perpetrator more and flip it-- change of thinking. It's not just always the victim.
Because whenever you talk of human trafficking and the victim, what goes on? The perpetrator tells does the victim, yeah, look they're coming behind you. They're not coming behind me. And we need to map the perpetrator. Like, has he been prosecuted? And what is the status of the one year or two year? Is he back into the same game? Thank you.
MS. DANG: Just to highlight what I heard, is that, obviously, to include survivors, but to highlight the benefits of including survivors. And also, maybe, to hear what are the concerns of including survivors and to address them.
MS. FRUNDT: Yes.
MS. DANG: So the next question is are there any recommendations for changes to the visa system to better combat human trafficking?
MR. PIRAMINO-GUZMAN: I mean, if I had it my way-- let's talk about the ugly child of immigration, right, U visa. The U visa, you know-- I mean, as you know, it's like hand in hand too with T visa, trafficking victims visa. But there's just so many obstacles.
And, you know, and sometimes you're literally at the mercy of the law enforcement agency in order for you to get a certification that you need, or in order for you to get your T visa or U visa. We need to adopt-- we need to change that somehow and be able to like-- I mean, the officer or the detective have the say whether they want to give you the certification or not. And that right there gives too much power to a single individual.
I believe that I would start with changing the way the certifications are provided to individuals who are victims of human trafficking. Personally, I would just take it out. Right. I would just take it out. If there is a case-- I mean, that that should be enough. But a certification is giving power to one-- too much power to one individual. And then perhaps the process in which-- how long it takes to process a U visa, T visa.
And I think-- I think that's-- that's something that-- that-- the timelines, I will shorten that and perhaps would like to see a special group of individuals kind of, like, looking over that process. I mean, as-- I think-- I remember the numbers. One of the [INAUDIBLE], we were given the numbers on how many people are getting T visas and new visas. And I'm like-- yeah, and I'm like, it's ridiculous.
I mean, they have so many visas and they're only given, what-- like, I don't remember the numbers. I'm not gonna lie. But they're only giving, like, what-- 10%, 10%, like 15%, 20% of what the number actually is. What is happening with other individuals who are actually submitting those applications? How many applications have been rejected [INAUDIBLE] number of actual applications have being approved?
And that right there tells you something. We have a system that is a broken system. We need to re-- we need to revisit those applications. If you ask me, we need to revisit those applications and see what-- you know, what went wrong. So I think-- you know, I think that's-- that's-- man, again, if I had it my way.
MS. FRUNDT: And you wanted to relook at the applications. That was one of the recommendations for that.
MS. CHUMBOW: Yeah, and then another thing, when it comes to the visa, especially the T visa, I feel like they really have to look at the fact that they give you a T visa and you still have to wait. If you've been in a country for such a long time and you decide that, OK, you want to go to court and do that, you get the T visa. You still got to wait another five years to apply for citizenship. I'm talking, you know, based on other survivors that I've heard from and my experience.
Like, if you've been in this country and be locked in the house for such a long time and then now you're trying to do good by putting the person in prison and you don't-- have not seen your family members for such a long time and-- especially if you don't-- you came here illegally. Let's talk about that, when you came here illegally and the only option you have is that T visa. And then you get that T visa.
You still got to wait after another five years before going back home. I think they really have to change the system when it comes to T visa, especially for child labor trafficking victims. You know, because it's not fair that you rescue a child and they have not seen their family members for such a long time. And you don't even think about that-- that when you figure out which type of visa they should get.
MS. ORIOLA: And I would like to add that please for the visas, make it all equal. When I [INAUDIBLE] and you know, from the immigrant population, there are so many people that get [INAUDIBLE]. And they are victims of human trafficking.
The reason they get [INAUDIBLE] automatically is because they are married to the trafficker. And once there is a marriage certificate, they don't even bother to investigate further. They just gets filed [INAUDIBLE] and they get [INAUDIBLE].
So we need to make sure that all the resource they get is in privilege. For someone who gets a U visa or a T visa or a [INAUDIBLE] should get the same privilege. If you get a U visa, you don't get any public benefits.
I got benefits because of the American citizen that I get married to. So that-- and there are so many survivors out there who are struggling. There was a survivor that was getting $50 a month only from community members to do groceries-- $50.
Can $50 feed somebody for a whole month? So please-- and the resources are there. So make sure that those visa recipients get the same kind of benefit.
Don't make one to be better than the other. It's not helpful. And also, when you make it all equal, it reduces lies.
It reduces faking to get the benefits. So please, let's start looking deeper and looking at these situations closely and make it the same across the board regardless of the visa type. Thank you.
MR. MARTY: Thank you.
MS. MOLINA: It's on. It's on.
MR. MARTY: All right. Oh About T visa, U visa, it's a problem now, yeah. There are a lot of people waiting to be confirmed or approved.
But I think as they mention, the problem is we need to revisit the cases in the application and see what is the problem. In-- I don't know. I can say that and I'm pretty sure we need to-- like, DHA's, they have Blue Campaign. Blue Campaign should create a campaign showing the NGOs, the community, how to fill out an application.
Because a lot of the cases that I know, they are pending for something, a little thing. So when you're reviewing, you need to put it pending. And the pile keeps growing and growing because whoever filled about the application, they didn't know how to do it.
They did it wrong for just a little thing and you have a case pending. There are a lot of people still waiting. And as you said, there are people here for years. If you know those people are here for years already, why don't we increase at least this year, next year, if it's 10,000 T visa, 5,000 U visa, let's just double it and-- and-- and help the people that are in that situation now. So that's my--
MS. CHUMBOW: And also one thing-- to work with the embassies of the victims [INAUDIBLE] from that countries. Because a lot of times, if you come here illegally and you don't have a passport, you're undocumented, you give us a T visa, it will only be right if you go to that embassy from where they come from and try to work with that embassy. Let them help us get status in our country or whatever. So again, collaboration, working with the embassies.
MS. MOLINA: And also, I want to mention in my experience and what I have heard, oftentimes, it's critical to get the advanced parole that allows the person while contributing to the investigation legal status in the United States while they decide whether to give any kind of visa. Either it's U visa or T visa. But advance parole is critical in a case where involves a foreign victim or human trafficking survivor.
And the other reason, I think, that they have an issue of only a few T visas is that the requirements, they have-- one of their requirements is to collaborate with law enforcement. And we all know that when we come out from this situation, we are so afraid and we trust nobody. So it's difficult to come forward and testify against the trafficker.
That was in my case. And I think in a lot of cases, that's one of the reasons that there are only a few T visas issued. So I think we are here and we all can come up with a solution-- maybe therapy, counseling, or something that can help the victim to cross the bridge again from victim to survivor and being able to contribute with law enforcement in this way to apply for a T visa or U visa.
MS. DANG: So, council members, based off of the gap between when people can get-- when they're applying for citizenship or even just the long term need for victim services beyond rescue and beyond crisis intervention, what are-- this question goes to, what are the best ways that you can see organizations providing long term support? How do you imagine seeing that?
MS. FRUNDT: I just want to quickly say I think we think short term. You know, I know there's a lot of conversations like, well, we need emergency. We-- we need this.
But one of the things we really talked about-- we need long term, long term permanent housing. So when you're applying for grants, there are HUD grants and things that we've been talking with them too of getting apartment complexes, buildings, making long term, doing one transitional and then a long term. Because we're not thinking-- we're thinking so short term.
But think of it this way. Why on earth would I stay in your program for 90 days, for 30, and I have no idea what's going to happen next? There is no schooling.
There's nothing. That fears me. I get scared.
So I'm going to leave because I don't have anything long time to work on. There's no long term plan for me. And all you tell me is, there-- there's no housing or I have to go to Tennessee or I have to go here.
And so now, I'm doing the same thing. I'm just moving around, moving around, moving around. I wouldn't stay in your program. There is no reason to stay if even services aren't long term.
MR. PIRAINO-GUZMAN: You know, just thought to actually-- and the victim service committee with this-- with-- with this sort of-- the long term needs of services and stuff like that. And, you know, some-- as a-- as a-- as a whole counsel, we also will-- the discussion is like, what is long term? What is long term?
And this really-- we couldn't really come up with the number because then we saw-- we saw a trauma. Then, we saw-- we saw PTSD and how trauma comes back to individuals. I mean, how long does it take to someone-- for someone to recover from a traumatic experience? And we like-- I mean, what we saw-- like, you know, we thought of the ACE, right?
The ACE study says that for each experience, you need three [INAUDIBLE] experience. We had 18 years of life-- of life experience. How long does that-- how long does going to take us for us to overcome? We need-- we kind of need you all for 120 years, right?
So each individual will have their own set of unique experiences, right? So we know we need services. They're going to stick with us.
Or even-- I will even go a little-- another step farther and say, allow us to go out-- to go and come back, right? Allow us to step out and come back and learn to know who we are. And California, they extended foster care to 21, which is an amazing, amazing thing.
I wish I-- you know, that had-- had it happen to me. And you know what? They're allowing youth to fall out of foster care for at least three times and they can get back each time, right?
They can go out and do their thing for 30 days and later realize, hey, this is really hard out here. Let me come back so I can finish my school and get out of here at 21 and I can have a better life. Just imagine if you're able to provide us with the same level of support so we can-- I mean, I-- I feel like I could have overcome my trauma a lot faster if I actually had that-- I-- I-- if I had the opportunity to have someone work with me. I think that's the most important part of it.
MS. WHITE: [INAUDIBLE] no, I wasn't going to say [INAUDIBLE]
MS. DANG: I really want to answer this question as well. So I-- I really want to bring back how this relates to survivor leadership in that kind of what you said. You know, how long does it take to get over one incident of trauma?
And I am going to be dealing-- the long term is the rest of my life. And I don't want to be connected to a social service agency for the rest of my life. And so my main support system is a network of survivors and allies.
And so in the programs that we're building, that is why there is a need for survivor capacity building because we are going to be each other's sisters and brothers for the rest of our lives, not the social worker that's going to be transitioning in two years, right? And so I think there's a way that we think that as the service provider, we should try and fix the organization to provide the service forever rather than supporting survivors and providing it for each other. I personally am not a fan of the [INAUDIBLE] the programs that have people go away for several years and then come back because there's still a whole transition process, right? So, what are ways that people are staying in the community-- learning how to take the bus, learning about the libraries, just life skills that everybody needs. And how are our programs actually designing it-- designed to make the transition to real, regular life actually harder?
MS. WHITE: Yeah, just to piggyback, like, I wholly agree with what both of you said. Just to piggyback off of that is that a lot of the times, organizations think that getting the victim out of the exploitation, that's it, right? Like, let's just rescue and now she's safe and that's it.
But-- right, like, a lot of the time, survivors and victims are going back to the same communities where the exploitation happened. And now, they're going to be facing a whole other set of challenges. They're going to be going through the systems and I'm applying for benefits and welfare and dealing with their mom and, you know, broken families and-- right?
And that stuff in itself can be triggering as well. And they're going to need support for that, right? Like, there is no clear trajectory of healing.
Like, people think it's like, you get out of the life and it's like, ah. And then I'm in the promised land. Like, this is just going to go straight up from here.
But actually, it looks all types of ways, right? Like, you make a couple of steps in the right direction. Then you might fall back.
And as organizations and service providers, we have to be there to be that catch net, right? To provide that net of safety for when survivors and victims are struggling and they need to be able to come back and get that support and move forward. Because it's hard. And the long term, the support, is definitely needed.
MS. MOLINA: And I just to add. I think it's really important. It's critical to get mental health and job skills.
How you navigate that-- that first interview, that first job, when you come out of the situation? For me, it was tremendous, tremendous hard to go through the interview. I hadn't ever been interviewed in English, which is a second language for me.
And I didn't know any skills. So I would have appreciated if anybody had helped me with skills to hold up the first interview, which was successful, thank God. But I think that's so important because when we come out from the situation, we want to be independent.
It's so wrong that people think we want to live out of government. That's not true. We want to be independent.
So that's why we are-- we are asking for other survivors who come out of the situation to have these skills, to know how to navigate, to get that first interview, that first job. And mental health-- it's so important. Because human trafficking changes the life of the survivor forever.
Even family members don't understand what we have been through. They don't understand why we are so afraid. They don't understand why it is so difficult and why our lives are at risk because human trafficking is so complex. It's so difficult to understand. So that's why mental health and job skills are so important in my opinion.
MR. D'SOUZA: Yeah, I just wanted to share, like, in the case of a-- a survivor is that it has to be always a long term. And I think it should be mandatory all across the [INAUDIBLE] or law enforcement agencies that whenever they rescue a victim, there should be a mapping for at least two years, five years, or 10 years where he or she is today after 10 years. Because most of the time, there is no mapping.
What happened after one year, where he or she is? Number one-- number two is like that most of the foreign nationals don't know the culture. They don't know the people.
They don't know the law and order. They don't know, like, small things like public library. We just assume that they know everything. So like, educating them, training them-- because most of the foreign nationals are people in human trafficking want to be self independent.
They have the self-esteem. The self-confidence has gone down. And like Flora said, and I think all my brothers and sisters sitting including me, that mental counseling is very, very important, crucial support we need.
And I think it is not for a short term. It is for a long term [INAUDIBLE] nor [INAUDIBLE] to say [INAUDIBLE] it is for life long. I still struggle.
I'm a guy. I feel at times my share of shame. But for the first time, I'm talking in front of all that I don't share it.
But in [INAUDIBLE] my heart of hearts, I still cry. And I don't know how to share my pain. I don't know what's bothering me.
They always look at me, oh, I'm a husband. I'm a father. I've got two sons.
I need to be strong. I am a good community member. I can't cry.
I cannot be like a girl. But when I'm alone, I'm driving, I break down. So that is something that is bothering me today also.
So I go for counseling but I don't know where to go. So I go to some of the sisters. But this, I'm just being honest confession that we all need it. But you know, but certain things we cannot share because I feel-- I feel also ashamed of myself.
But I'm trying to overcome it. It's a-- it's-- and for every victim and every survivor, I just want to share a small thing. For me, it happened in 2003.
10 years, I was not talking. It's a very, very, very slow process. It doesn't happen overnight.
I mean, you have to understand that and be very knowledgeable that every time, the reaction or action of the victim or the survivor will be negative. So don't go by the actions. Go by the intentions of the victim.
The intentions of all the victims are always good. They're human. We all want to be good human beings in the community. Thank you.
MS. DANG: So, we're ab libbing a little bit here. I want to give council members the opportunity to make a closing recommendation. You can answer the question if you'd like that someone asked, which is sort of, where what do you see-- where do you see the council going from here? And then we're going to go down the line and we'll end with Bukola closing at the end, all right?
I'll start with myself. Thank you for sharing. I would like to see the opportunity for survivors to be whole people. We need to have spaces to share our deepest pain and that's not going to always be in front of you.
In fact, that's probably not the best place. And so we need to be seen as both strong and weak, as girly and masculine, as complete, as a mess and together, as professionals and as survivors. So I-- that's my hope is that this council starts to shift the narrative of who survivors are and that we become a funded mandate.
MR. D'SOUZA: I just want for myself and all the victims and all the survivors that in life, we all have been a very poor starter. But we all want to be a strong finisher in life. Thank you.
MS. FRUNDT: I wanted to also kind of clarify [INAUDIBLE] recommendation, the last piece that you mentioned. There is something that we talked about a lot on the council. And one was right now, as it stands today, if you are in a home-- that is, your mother or father is being involved in domestic violence, you as a child can actually have counseling and services.
But there is nothing like that if [INAUDIBLE]. And we talked about that a lot. There's nothing for our own children because you don't even realize the impact if they weren't directly in it, that they see from you when you're going through it in their home of understanding or finding out now that you speak.
They read a paper and everything that happened was ad libbed in it. How do they deal with that? Nothing for parents of children who are looking for their children who-- child was sex trafficked but I can have counseling or services.
So just think about that too of expanding. It's the whole family. We would never do that for sexual assault or domestic violence.
We'd make sure the whole family has everything they need because they have to go back to these homes. And family really wants to understand sometimes but don't and doesn't understand why you can't just get over it when you're home-- like, really understand that. And of course, you're going to leave because you can explain your own trauma.
You can't explain it if you don't know it. So I think that's important to look at the whole family. And then lastly, I think we're laying the foundation right now for the council. This is the very first. We're laying the foundation so each survivors that are appointed can build on the foundation and build it more and more every year but also making those recommendations and making sure that we help as much as we can and it continues.
MS. CHUMBOW: For me, I would like to say you guys are here. You guys came here. That means this topic is very important.
This is something. It shows that you guys care and you want to learn and you want to get our recommendation. But I don't want you to just be here.
I want you to actually take the recommendation that we give and implement it. You know, I don't want you to listen-- because this is not the first time we have done this. We are not the only council that have gone-- done recommendation to NGO, law enforcement, or any other administration that wants to help when it comes to modern day slavery.
You know, and take this recommendation that we're giving and really implement it. You know, we've all said it. These are human beings.
You know, because I have talked about this so many times. There have been some changes but there are still some changes that need to be done, especially with the long term, especially with the trauma care and making sure we get paid.
So you can't forget that. You know, I just want people to not listen or just here. I want you to actually do it.
So that's all I-- I want. Thank you.
MR. PIRAINO GUZMAN: You know, I've said this many, many times before, but I think survivors, victims of human trafficking, and survivors of human trafficking are all-- you know, we were someone before victimization. We will be someone after we are rescued and helped-- and helped out of a situation and it will be someone again and again and again, you know?
And it's really important to know that the services that we received, the guidance that we received is what is really going to help us to shape the-- the people we're going to become. And I can truly say, you know, I am who I am and I speak about who I am because of the people who help me shape the individual who I am today. You know, I'm very glad that I get to work with these wonderful people and all-- that we are all-- we are all from different circle of life and different-- people who have been doing this for so long and people who are great mentors, people who are going to get on the phone with you and talk about how to do different things.
And I think we are setting-- like, you know, Tina said, I mean, we're setting the foundation. We're setting the first rock on which the foundation for the-- the human trafficking movement is going to start. We are the-- the next movement.
We are going to-- you know, we're going to-- we are saying the-- the foundation for human trafficking to end in the United States and abroad. It's by us really speaking up and saying who we are, how-- do we-- how we can better implement the law, how we can better provide services to survivors of human trafficking to help people get better and get people to reincorporate back into society, to have productive members of society.
MS. DANG: Thank you.
MS. MOLINA: First of all, thank you for coming and joining us and thank you for being a part of the solution. But what I want to see is ask the council members to create a bill. And I want-- and I ask in advance for your support-- and for survivors to be compensated.
We want to be survivors empowered. And one way to empower survivors is recognizing that they bring good expertise. So therefore, they need to be compensated.
And I want to see in-- really, really embrace the, as the quote said, survivor voices count and really impact the way people, law enforcement, the way they see us as survivors. I want to [INAUDIBLE] that idea. And I don't want to be in a [INAUDIBLE] where, poor thing, poor pretty thing.
No, I want to be perceived as a survivor who contributes to change and to help others. And yeah, in the future, for other council members who will come, I want to see that they get compensated, even if we don't. But I want to see that in the future. Thank you.
MR. MARTY: Thank you. What I want to see that happens, really, it's-- because we can put everything on paper-- paper [INAUDIBLE] anything that you put in there. But I just want to see in the near future, it's just that we retain.
It's going to take place that you guys are going to take action. And that's why we're here. This is a problem. This is a common problem.
Whoever thinks is like, oh, it's probably just going to happen to them-- everybody knows now that human trafficking could happen to anyone-- one of our family members, one of our friends. I mean, shame on us if we could do something if we don't do anything. So that's what I want to see-- those recommendations to be implemented and really taking action.
And another thing that I want to mention is just by being on-- on the council, you have impact my life, impacting in a really positive way. This is-- [INAUDIBLE] this is me before and after the council. And it's something that I want also to project to other survivors. And I want to impact in a positive way as well. Thank you.
MS. WHITE: I'm trying not to get emotional, y'all. But I see this-- I see this council really as a shining light for survivors across the country as a way to really empower survivors, that they can be anything that they want to be and they can overcome just about anything that they're dealing with, that they're struggling-- struggling with, and that there is hope. I-- I see this council as a true-- like, a true platform for, you know, survivors and allies to engage.
Like, just the fact that survivors are engaging with the federal government on this level is truly amazing and I really have high hopes of, like, creating real, authentic change-- not just the change that we talk about, but the actual change that we're going to do and implement. Being on this console and working with everyone has been, like, transforming for me and it's been a wonderful-- wonderful experience. And I'm looking forward to all the great things to come. Thank you.
MS. DANG: Before the Honorable Bukola closes, I just want to thank you for your questions and let you know that we do have a public Facebook group. If you search US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, we will be posting the other questions and answering them on that group. So thank you for asking for input. And back to you.
MS. ORIOLA: OK, thank you. First of all, I would like to thank you all. You know, when it comes to human trafficking, the United States always takes the lead.
And I commend the United State government and you all for that. And I think this is a great example for even the United Nations to follow and the example, for other countries around the world to follow so that survivors can know that there is hope for them regardless of what they might have gone through. I always say that the best revenge you can give to somebody who has pushed you down and [INAUDIBLE] upon you is to turn around and change your life for better.
And this is a platform for that, for all survivors out there to know that there is hope for them. They can make a change in the world. And I want the rest of the world to follow this great example.
And in closing, [INAUDIBLE], meaning thank you very much. Please, we have the reports as you go out. So pick the reports.
And please also wait to dine with us for a little bit. I asked for fufu. I don't know [INAUDIBLE]. Is that fufu? Thank you once again and God bless.