Human trafficking is modern slavery, and it has no place in our world. As both a grave crime and a human rights abuse, it compromises national and economic security, undermines the rule of law, and harms the well-being of individuals and communities everywhere. With an estimated 24.9 million victims worldwide, human traffickers prey on adults and children of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities, exploiting them for their own profit.

This crime is an affront to human dignity, freedom, and justice. The Trump Administration is taking up the fight against human trafficking on all fronts, in all forms, carrying out robust domestic and international efforts and continuing to bring the full force and weight of the United States government to stamp out the menace of human trafficking once and for all.

The United States has made the global fight against human trafficking a policy priority and employs a whole-of-government approach to address all aspects of this crime. The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) and the Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG), which consists of senior officials designated as representatives of the PITF agencies, work year-round to address the many aspects of human trafficking both in the United States and around the world. The agencies of the PITF are the Departments of State (DOS), the Treasury (Treasury), Defense (DOD), Justice (DOJ), the Interior (DOI), Agriculture (USDA), Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), Transportation (DOT), Education (ED), and Homeland Security (DHS), as well as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Security Council (NSC), the Domestic Policy Council (DPC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

PITF agencies regularly convene to advance and coordinate federal policies and work with a range of stakeholders to collaborate. Focus areas include the enforcement of criminal and labor laws to end impunity for traffickers; victim-centered identification and trauma-informed assistance; innovations in data gathering and research; education and public awareness activities; and synchronization of strategically linked foreign assistance and diplomatic engagement.

This report reflects the work PITF agencies accomplished from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2019. Key achievements highlighted in the following pages include:

  • Dismantling a notorious transnational sex trafficking enterprise through a longstanding bilateral partnership;
  • Launching an innovative public-private partnership with one of the nation’s leading health systems to incorporate health and wellness trainings on human trafficking into its learning management system;
  • Finalizing a definition of “recruitment fees” in federal acquisition regulations to strengthen protections against human trafficking in federal contracts; and
  • Publishing the first-ever National Intelligence Estimate on human trafficking in the United States.

Throughout the reporting period, federal agencies explored how to use resources as effectively as possible to prosecute traffickers, provide comprehensive services to victims, and prevent the crime from happening in the first place. In addition, federal agencies sought input from and worked to empower survivor experts dedicated to elevating the issue of human trafficking and improving federal efforts. This Administration will continue pursuing ways to bolster intelligence collection, information-sharing, and analysis; leverage the best tools and learning; provide much-needed victim services; and establish effective partnerships with stakeholders.

Strategic Objectives:

  1. Investigate and prosecute traffickers and dismantle the criminal networks that perpetrate trafficking in persons.
  2. Enhance victim identification and the provision of relief and services for all victims of trafficking.
  3. Enhance training of stakeholders, including civil society, law enforcement, and government officials, to increase identification of victims.
  4. Encourage foreign governments to combat trafficking through international diplomacy and engagement.
  5. Forge and strengthen partnerships and other forms of collaboration to combat trafficking in persons.
  6. Fund domestic and international anti-trafficking programs focusing on prosecution, protection, and prevention.
  7. Integrate anti-trafficking components into relevant government programs.
  8. Promote public awareness about modern slavery.
  9. Spur innovation and improve capacity to combat modern slavery through data collection and research.
  10. Gather and synthesize actionable intelligence to increase the number of domestic and international trafficking prosecutions.

  1. Investigate and prosecute traffickers and dismantle the criminal networks that perpetrate trafficking in persons.
  • In 2018, DOJ obtained guilty pleas from, its CEO, and its Marketing Director.  Now shut down as a result of this investigation, the website had been the Internet’s leading source of prostitution-related advertisements that resulted in sex trafficking of minors and adults.  DOJ seized more than $150 million in real and personal property derived from proceeds of the conduct alleged in the superseding indictment.
  • DOJ, in coordination with DOL, DHS, and other federal law enforcement partners, continued to develop high-impact human trafficking investigations and prosecutions through the highly effective Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) Initiative . DOJ completed Phase II of the Initiative in September 2018. During Phase II, the six ACTeam Districts increased the number of defendants charged by 75 percent and more than doubled the number of defendants convicted, compared to a 1 percent increase in the number of defendants charged and a 36 percent increase in defendants convicted nationwide during the same period of time.
  • DOJ and DHS continued to collaborate with Mexican law enforcement counterparts through the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Human Trafficking Enforcement Initiative aimed at dismantling human trafficking networks operating across the U.S.-Mexico border. This initiative serves as an instructive model for enhancing bilateral law enforcement coordination and generating high-impact prosecutions, including the prosecution that dismantled the notorious Rendon-Reyes Trafficking Organization, culminating in substantial sentences and restitution orders.
  • DOJ secured convictions against 526 defendants in federal human trafficking prosecutions in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. Of these convictions, 501 involved predominantly sex trafficking and 25 involved predominantly labor trafficking.
  • The FBI Human Trafficking Program initiated 667 human trafficking investigations in FY 2018, resulting in the arrests of 479 suspects. The FBI also dismantled 37 criminal enterprises engaged in human trafficking.
  • DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI) initiated 849 cases related to human trafficking; ICE/HSI cases resulted in 1,588 arrests and 538 convictions, and ICE/HSI identified 325 victims of human trafficking in FY 2018.
  • DOD initiated 23 forced labor investigations and took action against 24 noncompliant employers or labor contractors from U.S. programs resulting in nine non-compliance requests, four cure notices, one show cause letter, one contractor personnel termination, six contractor employee debarments, one subcontractor debarment, and one contract termination.
  • DOS’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) opened 148 human trafficking-related cases in FY 2018. DS conducts human trafficking investigations, most with a nexus to passport or visa fraud, through DS special agents, investigators, and analysts assigned to field offices around the country and to U.S. embassies and consulates overseas.
  • DOD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline received 16 complaints regarding suspected trafficking in persons incidents and provided those allegations to the appropriate agency for investigation and inquiry. Additionally, the DOD OIG closed 19 previously opened complaints having referred 14 of the 19 cases to other DOD and non-DOD investigating agencies for further action.
  • HHS’s OIG, in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, launched Project HOPE (Helping Oppressed People Escape) to identify children missing from foster care, including those at high risk for human trafficking. Two operations in 2018 and 2019 led to arrests and additional investigations. These operations also led to the identification of 42 missing children.
  • DHS’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued eight Withhold Release Orders between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2019 for shipments of goods on grounds they were produced wholly, or in part, with forced labor.
  • DOJ made awards to 17 Enhanced Collaborative Model anti-trafficking task forces across the United States in FY 2018, totaling $23.1 million, for law enforcement agencies and victim service providers implementing a collaborative approach to identify and combat all forms of human trafficking.
  • On October 2, 2018, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated and applied sanctions to two companies and four individuals in Japan associated with the Yamaguchi-gumi Japanese Yakuza syndicate pursuant to E.O. 13581, “Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations,” which targets significant transnational criminal organizations and their supporters. The Yakuza is known to profit from and engage in a multitude of criminal activities, including human trafficking.
  1. Enhance victim identification and the provision of relief and services for all victims of trafficking.
  • The SPOG Victims Services Committee, co-chaired by DOJ, HHS, and DHS, continued efforts to implement and track progress on the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States, 2013-2017  and released the FY 2017 Status Report  in May 2019.
  • DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) grantees providing services to human trafficking victims reported 8,913 open client cases from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, including 4,739 new clients. Local service providers in the states and territories using OVC’s Crime Victims Fund dollars assisted hundreds of additional victims.
  • HHS anti-trafficking grantees provided comprehensive case management assistance to 2,652 foreign national victims and eligible family members and to 1,631 U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident victims of trafficking between October 2017 and March 2019. HHS issued 412 certification letters to foreign national adults and 466 eligibility letters to foreign national children in FY 2018.
  • HHS awarded funding to operate the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The hotline received 178,911 calls, texts, chats, online tips, and emails; identified 16,862 potential human trafficking cases; and provided 14,419 referrals to services between October 2017 and March 2019. The hotline received confirmation that 2,453 cases reported to law enforcement resulted in a follow-up action during that same time period. The hotline received information on more than 5,600 potential traffickers and more than 42 types of businesses facilitating human trafficking in FY 2018.
  • DHS’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted T nonimmigrant status (for victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons) to 576 victims and 703 eligible family members in FY 2018. USCIS met the FY 2018 statutory cap of 10,000 principal petitioners, provided U nonimmigrant status (for victims of certain qualifying crimes, including human trafficking), and approved petitions for 7,906 eligible family members in FY 2018.
  • DOI led an interagency working group to develop a set of resource maps that identify federal victim assistance personnel working in Indian Country by address in relation to DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) districts and Indian Country. The resource maps were distributed to DOI BIA, FBI, and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices’ law enforcement and victim service personnel early in FY 2019.
  • In FY 2018, DOS’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration funded a program that helped 262 individuals to join family members who were identified as victims of trafficking in the United States and provided return assistance to one trafficking survivor.
  • The FBI Victim Services Division’s 153 victim specialists provided services to victims of human trafficking in more than 900 cases in FY 2018, including crisis response, victim support and assistance, needs assessment, victim notification, and service referrals. FBI victim specialists also provided ongoing support to victims and families throughout the investigative process.
  • In FY 2018, DOS’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) programming provided services to more than 4,200 victims of trafficking worldwide, including legal support, health and psychological support, life skills training, and job placement. Of these, more than 500 victims were provided services through the TIP Office’s continued support of a global emergency victim assistance fund, managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to provide short- to medium-term direct assistance for trafficking victims overseas on an emergency, case-by-case basis.
  • The EEOC received 13 new charges of discrimination linked to human trafficking from civil lawsuits, resolved 41 pending charges, and recovered more than $300,850 in monetary benefits for charging parties through its administrative enforcement efforts between October 1, 2017 and August 23, 2019. As of August 23, 2019, the EEOC had nine pending charges linked to human trafficking.
  • USAID programming reached more than 15,000 trafficking victims worldwide through the provision of services, including legal support, health and psychosocial support, life skills training, and job placement.
  • DOJ established the Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center to strengthen victim service delivery in the United States by providing coaching to communities on how to respond effectively to the needs of human trafficking victims.
  • DOS DS’s Victims’ Resource Advocacy Program provided operational support during the execution of warrants where victims were identified, as well as direct services and connections to case management, housing, therapy, and available support for victims in headquarters and field investigations.
  • DOJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section conducted training and provided materials to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and support staff on returning forfeited funds to victims of crime, including mandatory restitution for human trafficking victims.
  1. Enhance training of stakeholders, including civil society, law enforcement, and government officials, to increase identification of victims.
  • HHS anti-trafficking grantees conducted 1,926 public outreach events that reached 40,096 people, provided training to 28,723 people, and provided technical assistance to 9,282 people between October 2017 and March 2019.
  • From July 2017 to June 2018, DOJ’s trafficking victim service grantees conducted 2,090 trainings and trained 76,664 professionals to build community capacity to identify and respond to human trafficking. DOJ also supported specialized training and technical assistance awards related to legal assistance, housing, employment, and trauma-informed services, as well as court responses to human trafficking.
  • The HHS National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center provided training to 11,332 individuals from October 1, 2017 to August 31, 2019. The Center developed 88 public training and technical assistance resources to enhance the public health response to human trafficking during the same period.
  • DHS’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) piloted a human trafficking awareness training for FLETC instructors and other agency personnel. FLETC trained 9,076 federal law enforcement officers through its basic training programs on indicators of human trafficking. Additionally, FLETC provided advanced training to 328 federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials and stakeholders on human trafficking awareness.
  • DOJ established a working group on mandatory restitution in June 2018 and developed training materials for federal prosecutors, including information about requesting transfers of forfeited assets for victim compensation.
  • In FY 2018, DOL hosted a webinar to showcase effective state-level responses to sexual harassment and human trafficking in agriculture.  Approximately 218 workforce professionals viewed the webinar live on DOL’s online technical assistance platform, where the webinar materials received 4,210 views as of November 30, 2018.  DOL also facilitated a webinar with an anti-trafficking NGO for approximately 50 State Workforce Agency representatives on labor trafficking in agriculture that provided states with resources to identify and refer such cases.
  • In FY 2018, DOD launched anti-trafficking training for teachers, administrators, and staff at all 163 DOD Education Activity schools to raise awareness of human trafficking in schools, how trafficking affects military-connected students, how to identify risk factors and warning signs, and how to report suspected incidents.
  • DOJ produced a series of video-on-demand training programs, available to federal law enforcement partners nationwide, addressing specific human trafficking enforcement challenges. DOJ launched the series in 2019 with a live, nationwide broadcast to all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to introduce these training resources.
  • DHS USCIS trained more than 330 stakeholders on immigration options available to victims of human trafficking.
  • In FY 2018, DOS TIP Office grantees trained 5,560 criminal justice practitioners, including judges, magistrates, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials, in more than 20 countries to strengthen coordination on victim-centered investigations and prosecutions.
  • In April 2019, DOI’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security hosted a two-day training for about 50 attendees on how law enforcement and first responders can proactively identify and combat criminal activity involving children, including child trafficking. In September 2019, DOI’s National Park Service hosted another session in Wyoming.
  • The USAID Mali Justice Project incorporated educational and sensitization materials about human trafficking in paralegal training curricula. The project also trained citizen groups on how to better identify and report trafficking cases, and it helped civil society organizations engage in policy advocacy.
  • DOI BIA provided training on human trafficking in Indian Country on a range of topics meant to increase public awareness about human trafficking in Indian Country and help attendees learn to detect and respond to human trafficking. DOI BIA training initiatives include law enforcement and victim or social services in federal, state, and tribal governments and NGOs.
  • USDA offered several training modules to its personnel and local law enforcement officers on how to identify and combat human trafficking.
  • In August 2018, DOS significantly updated a course that teaches consular staff how to recognize and prevent trafficking in persons in the consular context.  Since its release, more than 1,250 DOS personnel have enrolled in the course.
  • The EEOC continued training staff and representatives of state and local fair employment practice agencies on identifying and developing human trafficking-related charges of discrimination. For example, approximately 150 individuals attended a training session entitled A Survivor Centered Approach to Labor Trafficking on June 28, 2018.
  • DOJ’s U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) partnered with the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide training on indicators of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation and a train-the-trainer certification course to federal, state, local, tribal, and international stakeholders.  This partnership has delivered the training to nearly 10,000 law enforcement officers to date and has certified new trainers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
  • DHS’s U.S. Coast Guard trained more than 11,000 of its law enforcement and command level personnel on human trafficking indicators and reporting, particularly in the maritime domain.
  1. Encourage foreign governments to combat trafficking through international diplomacy and engagement.
  • DOS released the annual Trafficking in Persons Report [16 MB], assessing the anti-trafficking efforts of governments and ranking 187 countries and territories, including the United States. The theme of the 2019 Report focused on encouraging governments to address forms of human trafficking occurring within their country’s own borders.
  • U.S. trade agreements and trade preference programs negotiated by USTR include enforceable obligations to eliminate forced labor and to address trade in goods produced by forced labor. The recently negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement would obligate the Parties to prohibit the importation of goods produced in whole or in part by forced labor and to cooperate in the identification and movement of such goods. It would also obligate each Party to ensure that migrant workers are protected under its labor laws, including laws against forced labor. USTR continued to engage foreign governments to combat human trafficking through Trade and Investment Framework Agreements, particularly in Southeast Asia, and as of January 1, 2019, the President terminated Mauritania’s trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act due to forced labor practices.
  • DOS engaged in several multilateral venues, such as the Organization of American States and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, to highlight priority issues, such as implementing a victim-centered and trauma-informed approach and promoting the responsible procurement of goods and services by governments and multilateral institutions. Most recently, DOS supported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to incorporate trafficking in persons into the agenda of the International Maritime Organization.
  • DOT continued to champion commitments related to combating human trafficking in the transportation sector through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Transportation Working Group, the International Transport Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
  • The DOS TIP Office launched one Child Protection Compact Partnership in FY 2018. The Partnership with Jamaica will build on the Jamaican government’s existing efforts to prosecute and punish perpetrators of child trafficking, identify child trafficking victims and strengthen the provision of comprehensive protective services, and prevent child trafficking from occurring.
  • DOD collaborated with foreign partner militaries in more than 24 countries to provide training on human trafficking, reaching an estimated 4,811 foreign military members.
  • Through its International Visitor Leadership Program, DOS’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) sponsored 135 individuals, including government officials, human rights activists, law enforcement officials, and NGO representatives, in 18 projects to review efforts in the United States to combat trafficking at the federal, state, and local levels in 2018.
  • In May 2019, Treasury launched a bilateral anti-corruption initiative with Mexico targeting four priorities, including human trafficking.
  • DHS ICE completed its first proactive engagement on forced labor and U.S. trade laws to a foreign government, Argentina, in September 2018, with DHS CBP participation. This engagement aims to link DHS enforcement efforts relating to forced labor to those of other countries.
  • Treasury’s Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes headed the U.S. delegation to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and worked with the FATF and its global network to raise awareness of human trafficking and encourage governments to adopt the promising practices outlined in the FATF’s 2018 report on the financial flows associated with human trafficking.
  • DOD partnered with Thailand, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia to create resources for intelligence and evidence collection, information-sharing, and training initiatives on trafficking in persons and dismantling criminal networks in Bahrain and surrounding countries.
  1. Forge and strengthen partnerships and other forms of collaboration to combat trafficking in persons.
  • PITF agencies collaborated with the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking on implementation of the recommendations in its 2019 annual report for improving federal anti-trafficking programs and policies. This Advisory Council provides a formal platform for trafficking survivors to advise and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies to the PITF.
  • In FY 2018, HHS launched public-private partnerships with the American Hospital Association and Catholic Health Initiatives St. Luke’s Hospital to expand HHS’s SOAR (Stop. Observe. Ask. Respond.) to Health and Wellness training and with the McCain Institute for International Leadership to strengthen prevention efforts.
  • DHS expanded the number of victim assistance and forensic interview specialists working alongside human trafficking investigators nationwide.
  • HHS implemented three classes of its Human Trafficking Leadership Academy in FY 2018 and FY 2019, bringing together survivors of human trafficking with health and social service providers to develop recommendations for improving services and survivor engagement.
  • DOJ launched a broad interagency task force to assess legal and jurisdictional issues affecting forced labor in fishing in international waters and to make recommendations to Congress.
  • In Bangladesh, USAID supported a program that has empowered survivors to form “Survivors’ Voice” groups. These are organized groups of survivor leaders that develop and provide survivor services, conduct trainings, and raise awareness about trafficking.
  • The HHS National Advisory Committee on Preventing Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States released its preliminary recommendations to strengthen federal and state prevention efforts in January 2019, and the HHS National Advisory Council on Migrant Health released recommendations on how to prevent human trafficking in agriculture in November 2018.
  • On October 26, 2017, Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) partnered with the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units to launch the Egmont Human Trafficking Project. The project produced a human trafficking bulletin to help Egmont Group members coordinate to produce actionable information to disrupt the financial movement related to human trafficking.
  • DOT established a new advisory committee on human trafficking composed of representatives from NGOs, transportation sectors, law enforcement, and labor associations. The advisory committee developed a set of recommendations for DOT and best practices for the state and local departments of transportation, private industry, NGOs, transportation authorities, and other transportation stakeholders.
  • DOI, primarily BIA’s victim services personnel and law enforcement, partnered with state, local, and tribal criminal justice and social service providers to raise awareness of human trafficking. These partnerships led to training initiatives, including for casinos, state-wide strategic anti-trafficking plans for tribes, a greater number of victims identified and served, and mapping of resources.
  • In September 2018, DOS announced on behalf of the U.S. government, along with the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, the launch of a set of principles for governments to use as a framework for preventing and addressing forced labor in public and private sector supply chains. Since the launch, the five governments have met three times and have communicated on a regular basis to share promising practices and further implementation of the principles.
  • In January 2019, DOL implemented standard operating procedures for improving data sharing between DHS and DOL to facilitate greater collaboration in combating abuse in permanent and temporary foreign labor visa programs and in preventing debarred employers from participating in those programs.
  • DOS ECA continued its partnership with Coursera, an online education provider, to offer the Coursera for Refugees program.  Since the partnership’s launch in June 2016, the program has served approximately 3,000 refugees and internally displaced persons, who have generated 19,000 course enrollments and completions. From January to September 2019, the partnership enrolled 320 new learners.
  • DHS CBP re-established the Forced Labor Working Group of CBP’s private sector Commercial Operations Advisory Committee, comprised of a diverse membership from the trade community, to provide recommendations to improve CBP operations.
  1. Fund domestic and international anti-trafficking programs focusing on prosecution, protection, and prevention.
  • The SPOG Grantmaking Committee, co-chaired by DOS, DOJ, and USAID, continued to facilitate interagency coordination related to international and domestic grants to ensure programs are strategic and not duplicative.
  • The DOS TIP Office awarded more than $56 million to fund 58 projects worldwide that address both sex and labor trafficking. As of September 2019, the DOS TIP Office had 99 open anti-trafficking projects in more than 85 countries, totaling more than $183 million.
  • HHS awarded $16.5 million in grants to identify and assist domestic and foreign national victims of trafficking in FY 2018.
  • DOJ made 52 new awards to strengthen identification of and assistance to victims of human trafficking in FY 2018, totaling $37 million. Of the FY 2018 awards, 21 were for comprehensive services, 24 were for specialized services, four were for training and technical assistance, two were for field-generated innovations in victim assistance, and one was for improving outcomes for child and youth victims of trafficking.
  • The DOS TIP Office awarded $50 million under the Program to End Modern Slavery, which aims to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery in specific countries and regions as well as increase global funding to address this issue.
  • DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention made three awards in FY 2018 totaling $1.35 million under the 2018 Specialized Services and Mentoring for Child and Youth Victims of Sex Trafficking program to enhance the capacity of organizations to respond to the needs of child and youth victims of commercial sexual exploitation or domestic sex trafficking.
  • DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women provided technical assistance funding in FY 2018 to the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA) to enhance communities’ capacity to prevent and respond to the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and youth. IOFA developed screening tools and fact sheets to assist communities in creating community-coordinated responses to youth sex trafficking and referral networks.
  • In 2018, DOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) announced six new projects totaling approximately $28 million to address forced labor around the world. As of September 2019, ILAB was overseeing eight projects with anti-trafficking components totaling nearly $31 million.
  • USAID, with IOM, completed the Combating Human Trafficking in Afghanistan Project, which aimed to prepare Afghan government institutions on how to effectively combat human trafficking and improve regional coordination to address cross-border trafficking.
  • DOT announced the expansion of the Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation, Innovations in Transit Public Safety, and Crime Prevention and Public Safety Awareness  grant programs to include funding of activities related to combating human trafficking.
  • DOJ provided technical assistance funding to increase the capacity of the Office on Violence Against Women’s tribal grantees to respond to sex trafficking, including safety planning for victims, developing interagency cooperation in responding to sex trafficking, and expanding service providers’ knowledge and understanding of the specific dynamics of trafficking involving Native women and children.
  1. Integrate anti-trafficking components into relevant government programs.
  • Members of the SPOG Procurement & Supply Chains Committee supported the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s work to publish a final rule providing an official definition of “recruitment fees” as used in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), “Ending Trafficking in Persons.” The Committee also identified a procurement representative within each SPOG agency to work closely with agencies’ human trafficking experts on the challenges and opportunities for implementing the FAR and held a training for them on anti-trafficking regulations and efforts in U.S. government procurement.
  • The SPOG established an Ad Hoc Working Group on American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) to increase coordination among agencies responding to human trafficking in Indian Country and affecting AI/AN communities. In October 2018, the Working Group created a Resource Guide on U.S. Government Entities Combating Human Trafficking in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities [709 KB] to bolster external stakeholders’ understanding of the U.S. government response and enhance the internal coordination of agency programming and tribal engagement.
  • DOS’s Office of the Chief of Protocol implemented the domestic worker In-person Registration Program for A-3 and G-5 visa holders employed by foreign mission and international organization personnel, expanding the program to cover domestic workers employed by consular personnel in the New York City metropolitan area and in Houston, Texas. The United States Mission to the United Nations also launched an In-person Registration Program for G-5 visa holders employed by members of the United Nations Permanent Mission community.
  • DOD updated its “Combating Trafficking in Persons” Instruction that outlines the anti-trafficking roles and responsibilities for all DOD components, services, and agencies. One of the responsibilities for DOD components is to submit an annual self-assessment on the strengths, weaknesses, and effectiveness of their anti-trafficking programs.
  • DOS launched its Human Trafficking Expert Consultant Network, comprised of survivors and other subject matter experts, to inform its anti-trafficking policies and programs. In 2019, the consultants evaluated proposals submitted in response to DOS’s annual Notice of Funding Opportunity to provide a survivor perspective for DOS’s decision-making on funding anti-trafficking programs.
  • ED developed a department-wide plan to support human trafficking for FY 2020, including engagement in activities to increase awareness and actions to promote the prevention of human trafficking in the education community, with special emphasis on the most vulnerable student populations. ED convened an intra-agency working group to guide implementation of the plan.
  • DOT and DHS, through the Blue Lightning Initiative , continued to train airline personnel on recognizing and responding to potential instances of human trafficking. The Blue Lightning Initiative formed new partnerships with airlines and associations for a current total of 25 partners.
  • HHS held regional tribal consultations and meetings to assess the responses to human trafficking and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women with urban Indian organizations, Native youth, and Pacific Islander communities. HHS also developed a Native youth toolkit on human trafficking and provided support for victims of human trafficking and domestic and dating violence through the StrongHearts Native Helpline.
  • DOD’s combating trafficking in persons program manager in Afghanistan works to establish guidelines and procedures for DOD units to address trafficking in persons in their operating environment. As of September 2019, the program manager briefed 14,031 personnel arriving in Afghanistan, trained 378 contracting officers and contracting officer representatives on trafficking in persons, conducted 25 ad hoc on-site trainings for foreign national personnel, and conducted 75 random on-site anti-trafficking compliance visits on DOD facilities in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.
  • The EEOC’s Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 continued to emphasize outreach to vulnerable workers and underserved communities. In its annual report  for FY 2018, the EEOC reiterated its commitment to issues affecting these workers and communities, including victims of human trafficking.
  • HHS integrated human trafficking into the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence for 2017-2020, which includes actions related to strengthening service referrals for trafficking survivors and to providing technical assistance to operationalize screening, counseling, and universal education on human trafficking in HHS-supported health centers and local community-based service sites.
  • DOT issued a final rule that permanently bans drivers convicted of human trafficking from operating a commercial motor vehicle for which a commercial driver’s license or a commercial learner’s permit is required.
  1. Promote public awareness about modern slavery.
  • The SPOG Public Awareness & Outreach Committee, co-chaired by DOS, HHS, and DHS, served as a forum for agencies to seek feedback on public awareness and outreach activities and share information on planned events and materials to allow for cross-promotion and avoid duplication of effort. The Committee finalized a guidance document for public awareness materials to help SPOG agencies promote common messages, use a standardized set of statistics, and follow the same set of guidelines on images.
  • ED continued to increase awareness about human trafficking by informing education professional organizations and school communities about the problem and providing technical assistance and resources.
  • HHS hosted a national symposium in November 2018 to inform current and future anti-trafficking efforts for the health care and anti-trafficking fields. More than 120 partners, including leading practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and trafficking survivors, attended the symposium; and, more than 300 participants joined online.
  • The EEOC partnered with community-based organizations devoted to anti-trafficking work and participated in 337 anti-trafficking outreach events, reaching more than 18,401 attendees between October 1, 2017 and September 5, 2018. The EEOC also continued its efforts to increase public awareness about human trafficking and the link to equal employment opportunity law by providing resources on its website  for human trafficking victims.
  • The DHS Blue Campaign raised public consciousness of human trafficking across the country and incorporated input from trafficking survivors and other partners to develop new educational awareness products, including toolkits for the transportation sector and faith-based communities. In 2019, the DHS Blue Campaign worked with civil society partners to measure the effectiveness of different education and awareness efforts, including a Facebook Live series that generated more than 281,000 views in two months.
  • In April 2019, DOS worked with a supply chain management NGO to launch a new set of targeted risk-management tools for the food and beverage sector on . New promotional materials drove increased visitors from a growing number of countries to the site.
  • DOT’s public website for the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking  initiative continued to provide resources and a toolkit for industry stakeholders to sign pledges, issue leadership statements, train their employees, and conduct public awareness campaigns.
  • HHS regional anti-trafficking grantees conducted local outreach campaigns to raise awareness about human trafficking, reaching more than eight million people in FY 2018.
  • USAID implementing partners reached more than 1.76 million individuals at risk for human trafficking through targeted outreach and awareness raising campaigns. In Mozambique, for example, USAID supported a program that educated journalists about human trafficking, including how to investigate and report the crime to raise awareness, and about strategies to prevent and respond to trafficking.
  • DHS ICE Victim Assistance Specialists and Special Agents conducted more than 1,200 outreach events on human trafficking, providing training to more than 70,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement, victim advocates, NGOs, prosecutors, and others in FY 2018.
  • DOD created an anti-trafficking poster for DOD bases worldwide and translated it into 21 languages to help ensure that other country nationals serving on these bases are aware of trafficking indicators and the available incident reporting methods.
  • DHS, through ICE and the U.S. Secret Service, has several community outreach programs, such as iGuardian and the Childhood Smart Program, that aim to increase awareness of sexual exploitation, including child sex trafficking, and reduce child victimization. In September 2019, ICE’s iGuardian gave its first overseas presentation in the Philippines to more than 2,000 children and their parents, teachers, and other community members. From October 2017 to September 2019, almost 24,910 children and parents in the United States received the U.S. Secret Service’s Childhood Smart Program resources.
  1. Spur innovation and improve capacity to combat modern slavery through data collection and research.
  • The SPOG Research & Data Committee, co-chaired by DOS and DOJ, bolstered agencies’ understanding of the scope, demographics, and nature of human trafficking by facilitating information-sharing about human trafficking research and data projects, inviting external researchers to present on their latest findings, and driving interagency discussions on how to address challenges related to gathering, harmonizing, and sharing human trafficking data.  The Committee compiled the Human Trafficking Research Matrix, which includes all U.S. government-funded research projects focused on human trafficking.
  • In September 2018, DOL released French and Spanish language versions of its Comply Chain: Business Tools for Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains  mobile app to provide companies with step-by-step guidance on how to identify, remediate, and prevent child labor and forced labor through strong social compliance systems in their global supply chains. In 2019, DOL updated the application to implement new features.
  • DOL updated its Sweat & Toil: Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking Around the World  mobile app to include the 2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor  and the 2018 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor .
  • The DOS TIP Office supported IOM’s efforts to enhance its Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative , the first global data hub on human trafficking. By the end of FY 2018, new partnerships with anti-trafficking NGOs brought the total number of human trafficking case records on the site to more than 91,000 victims of 169 nationalities in 172 countries.
  • The EEOC continued to track training and outreach involving human trafficking issues through its charge data system.  Through this system, the EEOC tracks details of the outreach event or training and the EEOC office involved.
  • DOJ funded four awards in FY 2018 and five awards in FY 2019 to address research and evaluation of trafficking in persons. Project focus areas included juvenile justice and child welfare, artificial intelligence, targeted court models, evaluation of victim service providers, social networks and recruiting methods of sex traffickers, prevalence and identification methods, and child labor trafficking.
  • HHS sponsored a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine workshop on estimating the prevalence of human trafficking in April 2019.
  • DOL funded efforts by the Nepali government’s statistical office and the International Labor Organization to conduct a nationally representative survey examining forced labor among adult and child workers. Globally, this is the first nationally representative survey of forced labor ever to be undertaken.
  • HHS added new data collection fields on human trafficking for health care providers to use for discharges and patient encounters. HHS also updated a tool to request assistance for minor human trafficking victims.
  1. Gather and synthesize actionable intelligence to increase the number of domestic and international trafficking prosecutions.
  • The Intelligence Community and PITF agencies continued to build processes to improve, review, and share intelligence reporting with a focus on preventing human trafficking, protecting victims, and advancing prosecutions.
  • The Intelligence Community published the first National Intelligence Estimate on Trafficking in Persons.
  • DOS’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the National Intelligence Council co-sponsored an Analytic Exchange on Trafficking in Persons on September 4, 2019. The exchange addressed information gaps and creative solutions to address them, highlighting the need to increase information-sharing and coordination across multiple communities domestically and internationally.
  • DOS DS used its case management system to manage operational activities, to identify and analyze trends, anomalies, and vulnerabilities, and to establish threat patterns. DOS DS focused on emerging threats posed by transnational organized crime related to human trafficking and provided weekly criminal intelligence products to agents, analysts, and global law enforcement partners.
  • In July 2018, Treasury’s FinCEN updated its suspicious activity report form to include a checkbox for financial institutions to identify potential human trafficking-related activity. The change to the form is intended to help the financial industry report the activity in a more comprehensive way and allow law enforcement to identify potential leads more easily. From August 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019, Treasury received 10,881 suspicious activity reports alleging human trafficking, with large depository institutions continuing to be the most prominent filers. Of those suspicious activity reports, 2,657 reported human trafficking activity using the new checkbox.
  • DHS ICE signed its first memorandum of understanding with a civil society organization in July 2019 to further enable DHS ICE to collect and verify information regarding potential criminal investigations relating to allegations of goods produced with forced labor entering the U.S. market in violation of the Tariff Act of 1930.
  • DOJ USMS’s Behavioral Analysis Unit formed partnerships with international law enforcement partners to share actionable intelligence across borders to better protect potential victims of human trafficking. The unit interviews law enforcement officers, victims, human traffickers, medical and mental health practitioners, and child protective services professionals to collect data on potential indicators of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation, and it uses the data to produce valid, actionable intelligence for law enforcement officers on the ground.

U.S. Department of State

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