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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


The "3P" paradigm – prevention, protection, and prosecution – continues to serve as the fundamental international framework used by the United States and the world to combat contemporary forms of slavery. The U.S. Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons employs diplomatic, economic, political, legal, and cultural tools to advance the "3P" paradigm worldwide. Announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2009, the "fourth P" – partnership – serves as a pathway to progress in the effort against modern slavery. The paradigm is outlined in the United Nation's (UN) trafficking in persons protocol and the United States' Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).

"In recent years we've pursued a comprehensive approach reflected by the three Ps: prosecution, protection, and prevention. Well, it's time to add a fourth: partnership. The criminal network that enslaves millions of people crosses borders and spans continents. So our response must do the same. So we’re committed to building new partnerships with governments and NGOs around the world, because the repercussions of trafficking affect us all." – Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State

Combating human trafficking requires the expertise, resources and efforts of many individuals and entities. It is a complex, multi-faceted issue requiring a comprehensive response of government and nongovernment entities in such areas as human rights, labor and employment, health and services, and law enforcement. It requires partnerships among all of these entities to have a positive impact.

Partnerships augment efforts by bringing together diverse experience, amplifying messages, and leveraging resources, thereby accomplishing more together than any one entity or sector would be able to alone. Examples of existing partnerships governments use to facilitate prevention, protection, and prosecution include:

- Task forces among law enforcement agencies that cooperate to share intelligence, work across jurisdictions, and coordinate across borders;
- Alliances between governments and business associations that seek to craft protocols and establish compliance mechanisms for slavery-free supply chains; and ,
- Regional partnerships among nations, such as the anti-human trafficking efforts of the Organization of American States (OAS) or the European Union (EU).

Outside the government, partnerships include coalitions of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) coming together for purposes of advocacy, service provision, information sharing, and networks of survivors, whose experiences inform the broader trafficking movement.

While there is broad agreement on the purpose and benefits of a partnership approach to human trafficking, there is less agreement on and documentation of proven, successful strategies, - something all should endeavor to create and share in the years ahead.


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