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Chemung County Safe Harbour


Human trafficking is a modern day form of slavery whose victims are United States and foreign born, and include young children, teenagers, and adults of all backgrounds.  Human trafficking is a serious crime that is punishable by both New York State and Federal Law to recover from this crime, survivors require a wide range of intensive support.  A person is a victim of human trafficking if he or she is compelled into performing commercial sex acts or labor through force, fraud, or coercion, or if he or she is a minor who exchanges a sex act for something of value.

Facts about human trafficking:

  • Of the child trafficking survivors identified in New York State, 85% had prior involvement in the child welfare system.  [Gragg et. al, 2007]
  • Approximately 100,000 to 300,000 minors are at risk of being trafficked in the United States [U.S. Dept. of Justice]
  • More than 80% of reported trafficking victims are female and more than half are children. [U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and Polaris]
  • In 2016, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received the fifth-highest in substantive human trafficking reports from New York State.  The hotline takes calls from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. [ National Human Trafficking Hotline]
  • The human trafficking industry generates an estimated $32 billion profits each year. [ U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and Polaris]

Safe Harbour: NY Program
In January of 2012, the New York State Office of Children of Family Services (OCFS) received funding in the New York State budget to support Safe Harbour legislation.  The New York State Safe Harbour for Exploited Children Act (2008) protects commercially sexually exploited children by recognizing them as victims, and paves the way for better outcomes. 

Through this funding, OCFS implemented a state wide child welfare-based response to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and child trafficking.  Safe Harbour: NY aims to enable New York's child welfare and allied youth service systems to screen, identify, and respond effectively to the needs of children and youth trafficked for sex and or labor and improve system response.

As of January 2019 Chemung County received Safe Harbour Seed Funding from New York State OCFS to initiate education, awareness, and planning on a local level. 

 These questions may help you identify a child victim;
 • Does you employer control your money and/or housing?
 • Have you ever ran away? If so, where did you go?
 • Has there been child welfare involvement? Why?
 • Have you had an older or controlling dating partner?
 • Can you come and go as you choose?
 • Have you ever exchanged a sex act for something of value?
 • Have you ever been tricked or forced into a job or work?
 • Do you want to leave your job but can't?
 • What are your working and living conditions like?
 • Are you allowed to contact family/friends?


 Traffickers often target children and teens who;
 • Have histories of physical, sexual, emotional, or substance abuse, as well as physical and/or mental disabilities
 • Have been placed in foster care or the juvenile justice system
 • Have unstable home life
 • Are runaways or homeless
 • Are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered
 • Are refugees, undocumented immigrants, or non-English speaking

Commercial Sexual Exploited Children Training
Tuesday, June 18th - 8:30am-12:30pm - Part 2
Tuesday, August 20th - 8:30am-12:30pm - Part 1
Thursday, September 19th - 8:30am-12:30pm - Part 2
Thursday, October 17th - 8:30am-12:30pm - Part 1
Thursday, November 7th - 8:30am-12:30pm - Part 2
For registration information, contact the Chemung County Youth Bureau at 737-2907.

Anti-Trafficking Hotlines and Help lines
National Human Trafficking Resource Center

1-888-3737-888 - call
BeFree (233733) - text
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center is a federally funded, toll free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in more than 200 languages.
It accepts tips of trafficking situations, crisis calls from survivors, and calls from law enforcement and service providers looking to connect with resources in their area.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Call Center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The Call Center receives reports of missing youth and tips about missing and sexually exploited children.  It relays tips to appropriate law enforcement representatives and provides support to the families of missing youth.

The National Runaway Safeline
1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929)
The National Runaway Safeline is for teens who are thinking of running away from home, have friends that have left home, or who left home and want to go back.  This 24 hour crisis line is anonymous, confidential, and free.

Community Partners
 Catholic Charities  Chemung County Child Advocacy Center
 Chemung County Children's Integrated Services  Chemung County DSS
 Chemung County Sheriffs Department  Chemung County Youth Bureau
 City of Elmira Police Department Economic Opportunity Program, Inc. 
 Elmira City School District Elmira Holiday Inn
  Glove House, Inc. Hampton Inn 
 Horseheads Central School District New York State OCFS
  Salvation Army Sexual Assault Resource Center 
 Trinity of Chemung County Victims Services 

For more information, please contact Bob Harris at the Chemung County Youth Bureau