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Human Trafficking Project

Anti-Trafficking Collaborative (ATC) of the Bay Area:

In October 2012, MUA, APILO, SAGE, Asian Women’s Shelter, and Narika came together to form  the Anti-Trafficking Collaborative (ATC) of the Bay Area to support and advocate for human trafficking survivors. The cases we focus on range from sex trafficking to labor exploitation with a strong focus on Latina immigrant domestic workers who are victims of trafficking. We believe in the importance of supporting survivors recover psychologically from the trauma they have experienced, with great personal attention and care, by connecting them with critical services, building their community of support, ensuring that they access available legal remedies, and taking on leadership of the movement to end trafficking.  MUA is currently taking a break from our participation in the ATC as we focus on more pressing immigration-related issues.


Beyond Survival

In 2016, MUA was a proud affiliate anchor of the National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Beyond Survival campaign. Beyond Survival, launched in 2013, builds the capacity of affiliates like MUA and their communities to respond to human trafficking of domestic workers. Through worker-led organizing that links human trafficking to worker rights, immigrant rights, gender equity and racial justice, we are working to end human trafficking in the U.S. and around the world.  Beyond Survival focuses on lifting up the experience and vision of trafficked domestic workers in our membership. Rather than just telling stories of abuse and survival, our campaign tells stories of leadership and policy change led by workers themselves. Learn more about the campaign here.

Tools to Identify Potential Survivors of Human Trafficking

If you think that you might know someone who is a survivor of human trafficking, we suggest asking the following questions to assess the situation:


  • How did you come to the US?
  • Who arranged for your travel?
  • Did someone help you arrange your papers?
  • Did anyone help you falsify papers or lie to a U.S. immigration or consular officer?
  • Did someone promise you work?  How much? How often?
  • Did someone promise you could go to school, take classes in something, or get an education?
  • What was the living arrangement promised to you?
  • Did you know that you had to pay off a debt?
  • Did you sign a contract or any other papers?

Working and Living Conditions

  • Where do you work?
  • Is your job what you expected?
  • Are you able to leave your place of work?
  • Are you paid for your work?
  • How much? How often?
  • Are you allowed to keep the money you earn?
  • How many hours do you work?
  • Where do you live when you are not working?
  • Where did you live?
  • Were you told that you owed money that you had to pay off?
  • Were you told that you had to pay money or do something to get legal status?
  • Were you allowed to take breaks?
  • Where did you sleep at night?

Physical and Psychological Coercion

  • Are you afraid of your employer?
  • Does someone have your ID or passport?
  • What happens when you are sick or injured?
  • Have you ever tried to leave your job?
  • What do you think would happen if you left your job?
  • Are you ever threatened or harmed?
  • Were you regularly insulted or called names?
  • Are you afraid your family might be in danger or might get hurt in some way?  Why?
  • How often were you allowed to leave?
  • Did anyone ever threaten to deport you or “get you in trouble”?
  • How often were you allowed to leave the house?
  • Were you allowed to talk to other people or call your family?
  • Were you allowed to talk to anyone by yourself without anyone else around?
  • Did anyone touch you in a way you didn’t like?
  • What did someone tell you might happen to you if you left the house/workplace by yourself?

If these questions lead you to believe that you have a human trafficking case please contact Maria Jimenez at maria@mujeresunidas.net.