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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).

Protection is key to the victim-centered approach pursued by the United States and the international community in efforts to combat modern slavery. Key victim protection efforts include the "three Rs" – rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration.

Prioritizing the rights and needs of victims provides a roadmap that goes beyond the initial rescue, restores survivors’ dignity, and provides an opportunity for productive lives. The Office’s International Programs section works to build the capacity of governments and NGOs to enhance victim protection in scores of countries worldwide.

Victim identification measures are integral in implementing the victim-centered approach. Proactively identifying victims and training first responders are of paramount importance to a country’s ability to tackle this grave human rights abuse.

Under the TVPA, governments have a responsibility to enable identified trafficking victims to remain in the country, work, and obtain services without fear of detention or deportation for lack of legal status or crimes that the trafficker made them commit.

In addition, governments should not subject victims to impediments to obtaining proof of citizenship or to immigration relief. Safeguards should be put in place to ensure the protection of survivors, as well as their family members who may be in harm’s way.

Protecting victims translates into effective partnerships between law enforcement and service providers, not only immediately after rescue but also as they work together to facilitate participation in criminal justice and civil proceedings.

Rehabilitation efforts help provide emergency assistance and services; effective placement in stable, long-term situations; and access to educational, vocational and economic opportunities for survivors of modern slavery. Reintegration efforts include voluntary repatriation for trafficking victims and assistance in their home communities.


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