WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Humanity United, a foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom, joined the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative and Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation today in announcing the official start of the Partnership for Freedom's first innovation challenge—Reimagine: Opportunity.
The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership that aims to confront some of the deepest difficulties facing survivors of modern-day slavery in the United States.
Tens of thousands of people in the United States currently live in modern-day slavery. While efforts to combat this crime continue, care and support for trafficking survivors remain serious problems. Survivors face a plethora of obstacles as they enter a system that is not fully equipped to help them recover.
"The magnitude and scope of the problem is too large for the government alone to arrest all the perpetrators, rescue all the victims and restore all the survivors," said George Sheldon, HHS acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families. "Together, in partnerships like this one, we can begin to turn the tables on those who subject their victims to the greatest degradations known to mankind."
Through a series of three innovation challenges, the Partnership for Freedom encourages organizations and communities from across the country to submit new ideas to improve and increase services for human trafficking survivors. This public-private partnership was first announced by President Obama during his landmark speech on human trafficking in September 2012.
"I am so excited to be part of the Partnership for Freedom," said Joye E. Frost, director of the Office for Victims of Crime at the Department of Justice. "With Humanity United and our federal partners, we have joined the Partnership for Freedom to cultivate these new ideas and innovative practices."
The first challenge in the series, Reimagine: Opportunity, looks for innovative and sustainable ways to address three critical issues faced by human trafficking survivors:
- Sustainable housing: There is a dire shortage of emergency, transitional and long-term housing for survivors.
- Economic empowerment: Finding a job and becoming financially independent are critical elements of recovery, but there are limited solutions and services to help survivors access these opportunities.
- Social services: Survivors commonly require legal services, medical and mental health care, dental care and case management services; however, they often are unable to access the services they need, or if they are, the quality is inconsistent.
"The goal of the Partnership for Freedom is to inspire communities to work together to address some of the key challenges facing survivors of modern-day slavery," said Randy Newcomb, president and CEO of Humanity United. "We want to see new actors, new skills, new data, new ideas and new energy enter the anti-trafficking conversation. "
Initial applications for Reimagine: Opportunity will be accepted until Nov. 17. Up to 25 finalists will be invited to attend an Innovation Workshop in Washington, D.C. to further develop their ideas. Final winners will begin piloting their solutions in Spring 2014.
The remaining two challenges will be announced in 2014 and 2015.
Learn more at www.partnershipforfreedom.org or follow #P4F on Facebook and Twitter.
About Humanity United
Humanity United is a U.S.-based foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom. At home and in the corners of the globe where these ideals are challenged most, we lead and support efforts to lift up the voices and will of people, ensure good governance and the rule of law, engage markets and business as a force for change, and encourage the exploration of promising ideas and innovations to end conflict and slavery—all with the belief that everyone has the right to a life that is peaceful and free. Learn more at HumanityUnited.org or follow us on Twitter (@HumanityUnited) and Facebook. Humanity United is part of the Omidyar Group: www.omidyargroup.com.
SOURCE Humanity United