Whitney Hood

  • Hosted by Sanctuary for Families
  • Sponsored by Baker McKenzie, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Columbia Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations, Trafficking/Slavery
  • Fellowship class year 2016
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Provide comprehensive legal services tailored to trafficking victims with physical and psychological health concerns through direct representation, outreach to health providers and policy advocacy.

New York City is a major hub for both domestic and international trafficking, and victims of trafficking are often hidden from society and from service providers. Currently, most victims access legal services only upon referral from law enforcement, usually after an arrest. A lack of training and a coordinated referral network are principle barriers to medical providers identifying trafficking and connecting patients with legal services.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Whitney has:

  • Represented 33 survivors of human trafficking in immigration, civil and criminal matters.
  • In partnership with doctors, designed a curriculum and pilot project training health care providers on human trafficking and trained over 185 doctors, nurses, medical students and socials workers.
  • Advocated at local, state, federal, and international forums for improved responses to human trafficking and improved services for victims.

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Whitney plans to:

  • Continue serving immigrant survivors of gender violence through trauma-informed and holistic service provision and advocating for improved policies affecting immigrant’s rights and women’s rights.

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