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The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) maintains a victim assistance program to provide short- to medium-term direct assistance for victims of human trafficking outside the U.S. on an emergency basis. Initiated in 2010, the project is implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which provides victims of labor and sex trafficking with a range of services.

Adult and child victims of human trafficking who need emergency assistance are eligible for services provided through the emergency victim assistance program regardless of the country in which they are identified.

Trafficking victims are primarily identified and referred for assistance by IOM, its partners, or the TIP Office. Referrals may also be provided by other nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, U.S. embassies, or foreign government ministries.

Once a trafficking victim is referred to the emergency victim assistance program for services, IOM and its local partners respond to meet the emergency needs of the individual. The duration of services varies from several days to several months or longer, depending on the circumstances of each case.


  • A Malian child living with her grandmother was sent to live with her aunt in Cote d’Ivoire. When she arrived, her aunt forced her to do grueling work as a domestic worker. Her aunt physically and psychologically abused her and deprived her of basic necessities, such as food. The girl tried to escape, but was returned to the trafficking situation and her treatment worsened. She came to the attention of a local NGO while working on the streets to earn money for food, and was thereafter referred to IOM. With funds from the TIP Office, IOM provided the child with immediate assistance for her basic needs, including medical care. IOM also obtained documentation for the child’s return to Mali and provided a return escort and further reintegration assistance. The child now lives with her grandfather in Mali and attends school.
  • Twenty-two fishermen from Cambodia escaped from the vessel on which they were victims of labor trafficking, enduring brutal conditions. The men sought protection from a local IOM partner in Indonesia. IOM helped facilitate shelter for 20 of the men who needed continued assistance and, with TIP Office support, provided meals, medical care, and return escorts and assistance. The fishermen were returned to Cambodia and provided reintegration assistance.

The emergency victim assistance program fills a critical gap in anti-trafficking programming and has provided assistance to nearly 1,000 individuals worldwide since 2010.


  • Shelter
  • Food and Basic Necessities
  • Medical/Psychosocial Care
  • Counseling
  • Legal Assistance
  • Return/Repatriation
  • Reintegration Assistance
  • Job Assistance

U.S. Department of State

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