The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Innovation Challenge To Stop Women & Girl Trafficking

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

On the 6th of August, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an “Innovation Challenge.” The announcement was made at the “HHS National Human Trafficking Prevention Summit.”

The announcement says that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching this challenge through the “Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) Office on Women’s Health (OWH).”

An organization that takes up the challenge and brings massive and unique changes in “human trafficking among women and girls” in the United States can win up to $1.8 million.

The winner of this challenge will be found after a nationwide competition, and the program to be rewarded must effectively stop human trafficking. It also must successfully improve health concerns caused by women and girls trafficking. Further, the program must be sustainable and have the scope for expansion and replication.

This Innovation Challenge is in line with the “National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking” earlier discussed in the White House. Also, it aligns with the National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. Moreover, it aims to be an important element in the HHS Task Force to prevent human trafficking.

In the US, a large section of the residents is vulnerable to human trafficking. American Indians, Native Hawaiians, Black, Latinos, Asians, Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, and people from the LGBTQI+ community are at a greater risk of human trafficking. Even individuals belonging to a low-income family or having disabilities often become the victims of human trafficking.

Other issues making someone exposed to human trafficking are mental health conditions, unstable housing, substance abuse, childhood trauma, and migration.

Nevertheless, irrespective of the reasons, women and girls are always at a higher risk of human trafficking. So, this program is something to look forward to.

Dr. Dorothy Fink, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health, says, “OWH is pleased to begin identifying and awarding programs that demonstrate effectiveness in preventing human trafficking and/or improving health outcomes related to trafficking among women and girls.

The challenge will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, twenty existing programs will get rewarded with $50000. In the second phase, eight programs from the first phase will receive up to $10000 for successful expansion, replication, and impact.

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