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).
The prosecution of traffickers is the third element of the "3P" paradigm by which the world pursues this shadowy crime. The TIP Report assesses individual countries’ efforts to prosecute trafficking offenders, as per the TVPA's minimum standards.
In assessing governments' anti-trafficking efforts, the Department of State holds that, consistent with the 2000 UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime, criminal penalties to meet this standard should include a maximum of at least 4 years' deprivation of liberty, or a more severe penalty. The Department holds that imposed sentences should involve significant jail time, with a majority of cases resulting in sentences on the order of 1 year of imprisonment or more. Sentences should take into account the severity of an individual's involvement in trafficking, imposed sentences for other grave crimes, and the judiciary's right to hand down punishments consistent with that country’s laws.
The Office works with its interagency partners within the U.S. Government as well as law enforcement and NGO partners from around the world to uphold the protocol and implement global prosecution standards to ensure that justice is served.