Help for Victims of Trafficking in Persons and Forced Labor

The U.S. Government is trying to stop a very serious problem—the problem of human trafficking. We are giving you this information because we want you to know that everybody in the United States has rights and is protected by our laws. Freedom is one of the most important rights. In the United States, no one—matter how powerful that person may be in the United States or in another country—has the right to force other people to work.

No one can:

  • Force you to work against your will;
  • Collect a debt by using threats or forcing you to work to pay the debt;
  • Force you to work using threats to harm you or your family;
  • Force or pressure you into prostitution or to do other sexual acts;
  • Use you for any kind of sex work if you are under 18;
  • Take away your passport, birth certificate, or identification card to control you or your movements.

Photograph of the FBI seal and rope in the background.If any of these things has happened to you, you might be a victim
of a serious crime.

You are not alone. Please talk to us. We can help you.

Your Safety...
We want you to be safe. Remember, you are now away from the people who hurt you, and we can help you plan how to be safe. We may also be able to help your family if they are in danger from the traffickers.

We can help you find:

  • Emergency medical assistance;
  • Emergency food and shelter;
  • Translation services;
  • Counseling and legal assistance.

Every federal law enforcement agency has someone who can help victims and answer questions. If you are a victim, this person can tell you about community agencies and programs that can help you. You can find the address and phone number of your local FBI office on this website.

We Want to Stop People Who Hurt You...
We will see if criminal charges can be brought against those who hurt you, but we need your help. We would like to talk to you about what happened to you. It is important to tell us the truth. If you are afraid of someone, please tell us. We will try to protect you and your family, and we won’t give your name or the names of your family members to the public.

Some people may tell you not to trust immigration agents, other federal agents, or the police. Don’t believe them. The people who say these things want you to be afraid of the people who can help you the most. Please call us. We can help you.

There may be ways for you to stay in the United States while we investigate your case, even if you don’t have the proper papers. If you are a victim of trafficking in persons, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may let you stay in the United States. You may also get a work permit.

Staying in the United States or Going Home...

You also may be able to stay in the United States for a longer time depending upon your situation. Some of the ways you may be able to stay in the United States include:

  • The T visa, a program for certain trafficking in persons victims;
  • The U visa, a program for certain crime victims who have been hurt and are working with law enforcement officials;
  • The S visa, a program for certain people helping in criminal investigations;
  • Asylum, a program for certain people who have experienced or are facing persecution in their home country.

Help For Victims
Photograph of a legal assistant on the phone.There may be other immigration programs that are right for you. It is important to talk with an immigration lawyer or community organization that can advise you about your choices. A victim specialist may be able to help you find a free or low-cost lawyer.

If you want to go back to your home country, please talk to us or contact your victim specialist, a community organization, or your own lawyer.

For help, call 1-888-428-7581 (Voice and TTY).