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KU-based anti-human trafficking project named finalist in Partnership for Freedom

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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LAWRENCE – An initiative proposed by the Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic at the University of Kansas School of Law and partner organizations has been named a finalist in the first round of the Partnership for Freedom, a national competition seeking innovative ideas to better care for survivors of modern-day slavery in the United States.

The MLP Clinic’s proposed concept seeks to create the first anti-human trafficking legal clinic based on medical-legal partnership, a health care delivery model that incorporates legal services into comprehensive patient care. The program would train health care providers to screen for human trafficking, and the clinic, staffed by students from the University of Kansas School of Law, would provide free legal representation to help survivors access public benefits and housing, resolve immigration issues, and identify other legal remedies to improve immediate and long-term health outcomes.

The MLP Clinic’s idea was selected from among more than 160 submissions representing 260 applying organizations.

Additional partners on the project include the KU Institute for Policy & Social Research (Lawrence); the University of Kansas Medical Center, the Department of Family Medicine, and the University of Kansas Hospital (Kansas City, Kan.); Rose Brooks Center (Kansas City, Mo.); and the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (Washington, D.C.).

Today, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. are living in some type of modern-day slavery. Although efforts to combat this crime have increased in recent years, care and recovery support for survivors remains inadequate. The Partnership for Freedom’s first challenge, Reimagine: Opportunity, is looking for creative, sustainable ways to address three critical issues faced by human trafficking survivors: sustainable housing, economic empowerment and social services. Two additional challenges will be launched in 2014 and 2015 to address other ways of combating human trafficking.

“We are thrilled to be selected as finalists in the Partnership for Freedom competition,” said Katie Cronin, director of the MLP Clinic. “By creating strategic partnerships, this project has the potential to dramatically increase awareness of human trafficking in order to connect survivors to a range of critical legal, health care, and social services.”

The MLP Clinic and its partners, along with 11 other finalists, will participate in an Innovation Workshop in Washington, D.C., in January to further develop their ideas. The final winners will be announced in Spring 2014 and will receive funding to begin piloting their solutions.

Learn more at www.partnershipforfreedom.org or follow #P4F on Facebook and Twitter.

About Partnership for Freedom
The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership that was first announced by President Obama during his landmark speech on human trafficking in September 2012. It is led by Humanity United, a foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom, and 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.

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 www.HumanityUnited.org or follow us on Twitter (@HumanityUnited) and Facebook. Humanity United is part of the Omidyar Group: www.omidyargroup.com.