The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking (PITF) is a cabinet-level entity created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) to coordinate federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons. The PITF meets annually and is chaired by the Secretary of State. On March 15, 2012, President Obama issued a statement on the meeting of the PITF. He called on his cabinet to strengthen federal efforts to combat human trafficking and to expand partnerships with civil society and the private sector.
On May 17, 2013, Secretary Kerry chaired the annual meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the White House. This was the first meeting of the PITF under Secretary Kerry’s tenure as Chair and the fourth of the Obama Administration. Participants included Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.; Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood; Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett; and other agency heads and senior White House officials.
The TVPA, as amended in 2003, established the Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG), which consists of senior officials designated as representatives of the PITF members. The SPOG coordinates interagency policy, grants, research, and planning issues involving international trafficking in persons and the implementation of the TVPA. The SPOG meets quarterly and is chaired by Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca who also leads the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State. In 2010, the SPOG expanded to include three new agencies: the Department of Agriculture, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of the Interior. The Department of Transportation joined the SPOG in 2011.
Three standing committees continue to advance substantive areas of the SPOG’s work. The Research & Data Committee focuses on statistics and data collection; the Grantmaking Committee coordinates relevant federal anti-trafficking programming and recently generated a series of promising practices for successful grants; and the Public Affairs Committee seeks to coordinate government-wide messaging. Three ad hoc working groups have been convened to address victim services, legislation related to human trafficking, and the implementation of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provision aimed at combating modern slavery and its contributing factors in U.S. Government contracts and sub-contracts.
In 2011, SPOG representatives regularly reported on accomplishments and initiatives, including trainings, research and reports, grants and programs, statistics, information campaigns, and the work of other trafficking-related interagency working groups. The SPOG also coordinated the participation of agencies in gathering information and analysis for the ranking and country narrative for the United States in the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report. Additionally, most SPOG member agencies continued the practice of circulating anti-trafficking grant solicitations internally and commenting on proposed grant and technical assistance awards to better coordinate federal agencies’ grant activities.
Additional information and websites for PITF member and invited agencies can be found here.