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In February 2011, CAST launched the National Survivor Network (NSN) in an effort to foster connections between survivors of diverse forms of human trafficking and to build a national anti-trafficking movement in which survivors are at the forefront and recognized as leaders.  Members of the NSN include survivors with various backgrounds and origins spanning 24 countries, including Ghana, India, Indonesia, Columbia, and the United States. Active members currently reside in over 32 tates including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C. The NSN’s diverse membership makes it uniquely representative of the myriad of situations and dynamics experienced by survivors of human trafficking. By connecting survivors across the country, the NSN supports and encourages survivors to realize and develop confidence in their own leadership qualities and for others to learn to value their insight not just as survivors but as experts in the field. 


Download our July 2015 Newsletter >>


To bring together a community of survivors
of human trafficking by creating a platform
for survivor-led advocacy, peer-to-peer mentorship,
and empowerment that embraces all survivors,
regardless of gender, age, nationality or type
of trafficking experience.


According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), a “severe form of trafficking in persons” is defined as follows:

  1. the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which that act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion; or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
  2. the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

A "commercial sex act" is defined by the TVPA as “any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.” Since the TVPA is the federal legislation which determines allocation of services for victims, it is with this definition that the NSN aligns its membership. However, the members of the NSN recognize that this definition, like any legislation, can be and is open to interpretation. Further, the NSN respects that other networks may have differing opinions and interpretations of this same legislation. 


Login here to apply for membership or to view member specific information.

About the Issue

Traffickers threaten to or use force, fraud, and/or coercion to bring their victims under their control. The resulting exploitation is essentially a modern-day form of slavery, as human trafficking victims are subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labor, or sometimes both. As mandated by the TVPA, a child under the age of eighteen who is induced to perform a commercial sex act is a victim of sex trafficking with or without the use of force, fraud, and/or coercion.

  • It is estimated that 29.8 million people are enslaved around the world today (Global Slavery Index: http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/findings/#rankings)
  • Only 46,570 victims are identified globally (U.S. Department of State)
  • There are between 600,000 and 800,000 victims trafficked through international borders each year, which does not include the millions trafficked domestically within their own countries (U.S. Department of State)
  • Between 14,500 and 17,500 human beings are trafficked into the United States annually (U.S. Department of State)
  • It is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the 21st century – a $15.5 billion industry (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)


Members of the National Survivor Network (NSN) have become influential advocates; the impact of our voices has led to stronger legislative policies and greater public awareness.

Every year, members of the NSN identify key peices of federal legislation that they believe are most important to the prevention of human trafficking and the protection of victims.

Policy Priorities for 2015:

  1. S.121 / H.R. 500 - United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking / Voices of Human Trafficking Act:  This Act establishes the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, which shall provide advice and recommendations to the Senior Policy Operating Group and the President's Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

    It directs the Council to: (1) meet at least annually or at the request of the Group to review federal, state, and local government policy and programs intended to combat human trafficking, (2) formulate assessments and recommendations to ensure that U.S. policy and programming efforts conform to best practices in the field of human trafficking prevention, (3) meet with the Group at least annually to formally present the Council's findings and recommendations, and (4) submit annual reports to the Task Force.

    In late May 2015, this bill was signed into law by President Obama.  It must be implemented within 180 days.  The NSN will continue to press for its timely implementation and to ensure that Council selection is fair, transparent, and representative of the needs of foreign national and domestic survivors of all forms of human trafficking. 
  2. Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017 - Department of Health and Human Services:  In 2013, the U.S. Government finalized its five year strategic action plan to improve government coordination to prevent, identify and serve survivors of human trafficking. This strategic plan is available for review at http://www.ovc.gov/pubs/FederalHumanTraffickingStrategicPlan.pdf.

    NSN will focus on ensuring the Department of Health and Human Services is effectively fulfilling its commitments in this long-term plan from a survivor-informed perspective. 
  3. Department of State - Implementation of consular videos required under TVPRA of 2013: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2013 (TVPRA 2013) required the U.S. Government to begin showing videos to educate all temporary workers entering the United States on the risk of human trafficking and provide information about how to reach out for help. The video produced under this mandate is available for viewing at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji-f3dkeOIE&feature=youtu.be.

    NSN will work with the Department of State to improve the video and other information and provided to temporary workers entering the United States and make sure these are accessible and survivor-informed. 

Policy Priorities for 2014:

  1. S.121 – U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
    This would establish and advisory council to provide advice and recommendations to the Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG) and the President’s Task Force, and provide a formal mechanism for senior administration and agency representatives seeking survivor input. As survivors, the National Survivor Network believes that S 212 is essential because it values survivors beyond their trauma story. Read more about S 121: http://beta.congress.gov/search?q=%7B%22congress%22%3A%22113%22%2C%22source%22%3A%22legislation%22%2C%22search%22%3A%22S.%20121%22%7D
  2. H.R.1732 - Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act
    This would amend the Social Security Act to require state foster care programs to report in their annual plan on current efforts to address human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children in their care.  Additionally, the bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and publish best practices for training child welfare and court employees to identify all forms of child trafficking. States are not fully equipped to handle the needs of human trafficking victims. With this bill in place, the federal government will be assisting states to begin a dialogue and provide technical resources to best utilize systems they already have in place.
    Read more about H.R. 1732:  http://beta.congress.gov/search?q=%7B%22congress%22%3A%22113%22%2C%22source%22%3A%22legislation%22%2C%22search%22%3A%22H.R.%201732%22%7D
  3. H.R.3344 - Fraudulent Overseas Recruitment and Trafficking Elimination Act
    This addresses the potential for fraud in the recruitment of foreign workers and the vulnerability of foreign workers to human trafficking by prohibiting foreign labor contractors from charging recruitment fees, increasing transparency by foreign labor contractors, and strengthening remedies for any violations. HR 3344 is an essential element in the prevention of human trafficking and forced labor, and in reducing fraud in the U.S. non-immigrant visa program. Read more about H.R. 3344: http://beta.congress.gov/search?q=%7B%22congress%22%3A%22113%22%2C%22source%22%3A%22legislation%22%2C%22search%22%3A%22H.R.%203344%22%7D

Survivor Resources


  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center: (888) 373-7888
  • Freedom Network (http://freedomnetworkusa.org/): a national network of service providers that specializes in providing holistic and client centered services
  • RAINN (Rainn.org) Rape Abuse and Incest National Network: (800) 656-HOPE (4673)
  • Find your local rape crisis center: http://www.centers.rainn.org



  • Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) 24-hour help and reporting Hotline: (888) 539-2373



  • MISSSEY (Misssey.org) on-call number for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children: (510) 290-6450


If you are a survivor of human trafficking and would like more information about how to join the National Survivor Network, please use the contact form below.



Several members of the National Survivor Network (NSN) regularly speak on the issue of human trafficking, as well as offer training and technical consultation to a variety of audiences and agencies. If you are looking to invite a member of the NSN to speak at an upcoming event or conference, please contact Ima Matul, CAST Survivor Organizer: ima@castla.org. Please note that every individual charges a speakers fee or honorarium, which will vary by individual. Travel and accommodations for speakers should be covered by the requesting organization.