Undocumented survivors of labor trafficking face chronic stigmas for being undocumented and therefore often lack access to tailored support. On Friday, January 13th, 2023, Womankind’s tenth annual anti-human trafficking conference sought not just to reflect on this reality but also work towards a solution by asking the question: How do we turn these obstacles into opportunities?
The first half of the conference was comprised entirely of professionals who experienced and survived labor trafficking. They shared practical insights for other survivors by discussing topics ranging from money management to surrounding themselves with good and reliable friends to the importance of speaking up and knowing the specific laws that empower them with rights in the U.S., even as they await the outcome of a T visa application. In their own ways, each speaker mentioned the importance of treating all survivors as human beings and with dignity.
During the second half, two executive directors focused on strategies in finding financial resources for undocumented survivors. They specifically shared processes and learning moments from the respective projects they helped to develop. Both executive directors emphasized the need to reduce the complications of eligibilities for survivors, increasing accessibility to direct financial assistance and ensuring transparency regarding funds distribution. They also discussed aspects of the national landscape and strategies necessary to sustain funding momentums.