Aiding Victims of Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

CATW and our partners provide multi-level services, financial aid, psychological support, housing, and legal advocacy for victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Our projects and campaigns are centered on survivors' human rights, advocate for the protection of victims, and the legal accountability of the perpetrators of sex trafficking.


  • To aid in the rescue of women and children who are victims of sex trafficking and prostitution around the world.
  • To provide counseling, housing, economic assistance, education and legal support to victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
  • To develop programs and services to assist victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
  • To educate and advocate on behalf of victims to governments and law enforcement officials internationally.

In West Africa, Enslavement Prevention Alliance—West Africa  (EPAWA) is in the forefront of combating human trafficking by providing local and international awareness about the affects of prostitution and trafficking in Ghanaian society.
EPAWA conducts investigations and rescue operations, victim protection planning, and shelter management. EPAWA provides training to law enforcement, immigration, media, civil society, academic institutions, and the health sector on various aspects of human trafficking.
EPAWA partners with local organizations in Africa to create national campaigns to educate and mobilize government agencies on behalf of victims, encouraging the creation of infrastructure and to effect policies and education in order to find solutions to human trafficking.

In Bihar, Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal, Apne Aap Worldwide prevents sex trafficking by building the capacity of women and children in red-light areas and slums to get access to education, livelihoods other than prostitution, and safe housing by organizing themselves in small co-operatives.

The Association IROKO Onlus, provides housing, economic assistance, psychological and medical support to victims of trafficking, the majority are trafficked from Nigeria and Albania into Italy. IROKO assists sex trafficking survivors in creating independent commercial activities to support themselves and their families.

CATW-LAC founded the Red Alert System in Mexico to rescue victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. In five years, over 750 women and children are now in safe housing and re-entry programs, or have been reunited with their families. CATW-LAC advocates for specialized shelters for victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation by coordinating with like organizations and through meetings and trainings in the region.

CATW-LAC is supporting efforts underway to pass legislation based on the Nordic Model. CATW-LAC developed an online Postgraduate Diploma on Access to Justice and Trafficking in Persons for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation. Designed for law enforcement officials, this course provides information on the international and domestic legal tools available to combat human trafficking. This course also addresses victims and their needs while analyzing the demand for prostitution that fuels trafficking.

The Women's Front (WF) is an independent women's organization in Norway, founded in 1972. The Women's Front works with international organizations against genital mutilation, trafficking and prostitution. WF supports women's projects run by local women's organizations in Africa, Latin America and in Asia, providing funding and political support for women's reproductive rights, economic independence and survival strategies. WF advocates on the international and national political levels, campaigning for criminalizing of the buyers of sexual activities, presenting papers about prostitution, human trafficking, legalization and the harms of the global sex industry. In 2009, Norway joined Sweden in passing ground- breaking legislation, the world's first law to recognize prostitution as violence against women and a violation of human rights. The Nordic Model criminalizes the purchase of commercial sex and offers women and children an exit strategy.

CATW carries out a Survivors Empowerment Program to support survivors of commercial sexual exploitation in the recovery process. CATW-AP organizes educational camps for survivors to equip them with knowledge on women's human rights, realities of trafficking and prostitution, leadership, counseling and organizing.

CATW-AP builds the economic capacity among survivors of prostitution and trafficking by creating a viable economic alternative program in cooperation with the group Bagong Kamalayan (New Consciousness Survivors' Collective). Together they equipped a core group of the women with necessary skills training on the subjects of leadership and organizational management, financial management, cooperative marketing, and baking. The cooperative bakeshop is being accredited with both the Department of Trade and Industry and the Cooperative Development Authority.

In the Philippines, The Buklod Center, Inc., a member organization of CATW-AP, provides temporary shelter, counseling, education and legal assistance to women and children who are survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking. Through this program children are sent to elementary, high schools and vocational courses. They also carry out the Alternative Learning System (Adult Education).

Masiphakameni (Stand Up) is an organization of women who want to exit prostitution. Masiphakameni is organized into small self-help, self-organize, self-empower groups. Through weekly meetings and trainings, the organization has grown with each group taking on its own initiatives and providing ongoing support to the women.

Breaking Free located in St. Paul, Minnesota is a survivor led organization that provides multi-level services including individual and group counseling, housing, job training, and health care to women and girls who have been victims of abuse and commercial sexual exploitation (prostitution/sex trafficking). Through the program Sisters of Survival women take part in a 14-week, intensive education group to examine prostitution as a slave-based system, the impact prostitution has had on their lives, and issues related to addiction and recovery. The women discuss: parallels between prostitution and slavery, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, childhood sexual abuse, symptoms and patterns of depression, self-esteem, coping with feelings of hopelessness/ helplessness, anger, and cognitive skills. Job and life skills training are provided as well.