INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE
- The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
- Senior Policy Operating Group
- U.S. Government Human Trafficking Reports & Strategies
- Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons
- Congressionally Mandated Advisory Councils & Committees
The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) is a cabinet-level entity created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 (Pub. L. No. 106-386), which consists of 20 agencies across the federal government responsible for coordinating U.S. government-wide efforts to combat trafficking in persons. The Secretary of State chairs the PITF.
PITF agencies regularly convene to advance and coordinate federal policies and collaborate with a range of stakeholders. 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.
Agencies of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Senior Policy Operating Group
The TVPA, as amended in 2003, established the Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG), which consists of senior officials designated as representatives of the PITF agencies. The SPOG brings together federal agencies that address all aspects of human trafficking. Five standing committees meet regularly to advance substantive areas of the SPOG’s work:
- Research & Data Committee – Facilitates forums and discussions on human trafficking data and prevalence among agencies, invites external researchers and experts to share their latest findings with the Committee, and works to ensure agencies’ research efforts are complementary.
- Grantmaking Committee – Assists in planning and coordinating agencies’ domestic and international anti-trafficking program activities and promotes evidence-based programming to build the knowledge base on human trafficking and propose solutions to enhance anti-trafficking activities.
- Public Awareness & Outreach Committee – Serves as a forum for agencies to seek feedback and buy-in on agency-specific public awareness and outreach projects or resources, including on how to ensure a trauma-informed approach, and facilitates information-sharing on upcoming public awareness and outreach events, campaigns, and materials to allow for cross-promotion and/or collaboration among agencies.
- Victims Services Committee – Supports federal engagements and efforts that aim to promote a strategic, coordinated approach to the provision of services for victims of human trafficking at all levels of government; support evidence-based practices in victim services; provide and promote outreach, training, and technical assistance to increase victim identification and expand the availability of services; and promote effective, culturally appropriate, trauma-informed services that improve the short- and long-term health, safety, and well-being of victims.
- Procurement & Supply Chains Committee – Seeks to ensure agencies understand their responsibilities under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), “Ending Trafficking in Persons”; provides a forum through which agencies can work through challenges related to strengthening procurement safeguards and supply chain efforts, share data and promising practices for effective implementation of the FAR, and ensure efforts are not duplicative and that policies and procedures are consistent; and works to create a coordinated and collective U.S. government voice in relation to increasing corporate accountability and compliance in combating forced labor, child labor, as well as other human rights abuses in global supply chains more broadly.
In addition, the SPOG has created a few ad hoc working groups. Unlike the committees, these working groups are time-limited and formed to accomplish specific goals. As of 2022, the SPOG has three active ad hoc working groups:
- Ad Hoc Working Group on Demand Reduction – To examine the role of demand reduction in preventing human trafficking or otherwise achieving the purposes of the TVPA and the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (consistent with Sec. 115 of Pub. L. No. 115-425).
- Ad Hoc Working Group on Rights and Protections of Temporary Workers – To analyze and compare the rights and protections granted to workers of each employment-based nonimmigrant visa category to identify which categories require additional protections related to the recruitment and treatment of workers; and to discuss ways to address any gaps and inconsistencies, including developing and proposing necessary regulatory or legislative changes (consistent with Priority Action 1.5.2 of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking).
- Ad Hoc Working Group on Screening Forms and Protocols – To develop best practices in implementing screening forms and protocols as relevant for all federal officials who have the potential to encounter a human trafficking victim in the course of their regular duties that do not otherwise pertain to human trafficking (consistent with Priority Action 2.1.1 of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking).
Below are examples of resources the committees have developed:
- The SPOG Procurement & Supply Chains Committee released a set of posters for federal contractors, subcontractors, and others to post at worksites to inform those employed on federal contracts of their rights under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) rule, “Combating Trafficking in Persons .” The Committee also developed an accompanying set of directions for how to use the poster.
- The SPOG Public Awareness & Outreach Committee created Guidance for Introductory-Level Human Trafficking Awareness Training [753 KB]for federal law enforcement and service provider agencies as well as non-governmental stakeholders. This training guide serves as a resource for professional entities when developing or updating human trafficking training for their workforces.
U.S. Government Human Trafficking Reports & Strategies
The U.S. Government issues several congressional reports on human trafficking. These include:
The Trafficking in Persons Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue.
- Attorney General’s Annual Report to Congress on U.S. Government Activities to Combat Trafficking in Persons
The Attorney General’s Annual Report to Congress on U.S. Government Activities to Combat Trafficking in Persons describes the U.S. Government’s comprehensive campaign to combat human trafficking, including efforts to carry out the 3Ps strategy to (1) protect victims by providing benefits and services; (2) investigate and prosecute human trafficking crimes; and (3) prevent further trafficking-related crimes.
The Department of Labor maintains a list of goods and their source countries which it has reason to believe are produced by child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards, as required under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005 (Pub. L. No. 109-164) and subsequent reauthorizations. The List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor comprises 155 goods from 77 countries, as of September 30, 2020.
The Department of Labor maintains a list of products and their source countries which it has a reasonable basis to believe are produced by forced or indentured child labor, pursuant to Executive Order 13126 . This List is intended to ensure that U.S. federal agencies do not procure goods made by forced or indentured child labor. Under procurement regulations, federal contractors who supply products on the List must certify that they have made a good faith effort to determine whether forced or indentured child labor was used to produce the items supplied.
The Department of Labor’s annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor focuses on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries and territories to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement mechanisms, policies, and social programs.
Additionally, agencies have created strategies or policies to further their efforts to combat human trafficking:
- Department of Homeland Security Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation articulates the Department’s long-term approach for combating these crimes and serves as a framework to prioritize resources and monitor progress.
The National Strategy sets forth plans to enhance coordination within the Department of Justice and to develop specific strategies within each federal district to stop human trafficking. See Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Pub. L. No. 114-22), Sec. 606
In December 2021, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released its revised policy to counter trafficking in persons (C-TIP). USAID will use this policy to promote trauma-informed and survivor-centered approaches in C-TIP programming to empower survivors.
The Departments of State (State) and the Treasury (Treasury), on behalf of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), conducted an analysis of anti-money laundering efforts of the U.S. government, U.S. financial institutions, and international financial institutions related to human trafficking and recommendations to strengthen the efforts of those institutions. The report incorporates input and feedback from PITF agencies and external stakeholders, including from representatives of financial institutions and civil-society organizations, trade representatives of the financial industry, members of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, and consultants from the Human Trafficking Expert Consultant Network.
- Report on Human Trafficking in Fishing in International Waters
Report on Human Trafficking in Fishing in International Waters Appendix
Due to ongoing concerns over human trafficking in the fishing industry, Congress directed the Department of Justice to convene a senior interagency working group to examine legal and jurisdictional issues related to human trafficking on fishing vessels in international waters and to make recommendations for executive and legislative action. The working group held multiple interagency meetings and consultations with external stakeholders, including industry representatives, worker advocacy organizations, anti-trafficking organizations, and survivors. Drawing on this expertise, this new report analyzes the legal and regulatory authority of the United States government to prevent and respond to human trafficking on U.S. and foreign flagged vessels fishing in international waters, and also analyzes gaps in this legal and regulatory framework. The report contains 27 high-level recommendations to Congress and to the executive branch to fill the gaps identified in the report.
Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons
The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-457), Section 109 authorizes the President to establish the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons to recognize the extraordinary anti-trafficking efforts of individuals and organizations nominated by agencies of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. for its outstanding record of assisting thousands of migrant workers to defend their rights and its years of tireless advocacy and organizing to advance a more just and humane migration process free of forced labor and other forms of exploitation.
Mercy Medical Center’s Blue Dot Human Trafficking Initiative for its innovative and holistic approach for the care and wellbeing of victims of human trafficking and the collaboration with first responders for a timely and effective response, in an effort to initiate and further criminal investigations against those engaged in trafficking in persons.
Tanya Gould for her unyielding commitment and contributions to the fight against human trafficking and bringing greater awareness of the issue to her community and the nation.
Thai Community Development Center for its unending support in the fight against human trafficking and for bringing a greater awareness of the issue to the Thai community in an effort to see an end to human trafficking.
The A21 Campaign Inc., North Carolina for its extraordinary efforts to combat human trafficking in North Carolina, including through the Freedom Center transitional model that provides essential aftercare services to survivors, and for its efforts to reduce vulnerability to human trafficking through community outreach.
Navajo Nation for its leadership in combating human trafficking on tribal lands and for bringing greater awareness of the realities of human trafficking in Native communities.
Kendis Paris for her trailblazing leadership of Truckers Against Trafficking and her sustained efforts to transform the nation’s transportation sector by catalyzing professionals in the trucking and bussing industries to combat human trafficking.
Responsible Business Alliance for its innovative work and leadership with the global business community to push an industry-wide change to enhance worker protections, transform the market for ethical recruitment practices, and promote strong management systems to prevent human trafficking and trafficking risks in global supply chains.
Minal Patel Davis for her innovative efforts and unparalleled leadership in crafting and pioneering the City of Houston ’s comprehensive and collaborative approach to combating human trafficking, which represents a model for municipalities across the nation and around the world.
William Woolf III for his sustained dedication and achievements in combating human trafficking by employing a victim-centered approach to transform law enforcement efforts, and equipping communities and front-line responders to more effectively address and prevent human trafficking.
Students Opposing Slavery for sustained leadership and efforts to inform, inspire, and empower the next generation by raising awareness and building a network of students across the United States and around the world dedicated to ending modern slavery.
Dr. Christopher White and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for unparalleled leadership and dedication in developing new and powerful technologies to enhance the capacity of U.S. law enforcement, military, and intelligence entities to dismantle human trafficking enterprises and bring traffickers to justice.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers for pioneering a zero-tolerance program that puts workers and social responsibility at the center, and has eradicated human trafficking in the farms that participate in its Fair Food Program.
The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking for extraordinary efforts to provide comprehensive services to survivors of modern slavery, its bold leadership on behalf of and in partnership with survivors to advocate for robust anti-trafficking policies and laws, and its unwavering mission to empower survivors by building a community network and helping leaders thrive.
Carlson for its demonstrated commitment and corporate leadership in combating modern slavery through the adoption and promotion of business practices that seek to protect victims of human trafficking, and the development of proactive measures to train employees and encourage its partners and the broader business community to take a stand against human trafficking.
Florrie Reed Burke for her sustained dedication and unparalleled leadership in combating modern slavery through the development and delivery of comprehensive services, the empowerment of survivors to move from slavery to independence, and the transformation of policy to eradicate all forms of human trafficking.
Congressionally Mandated Advisory Councils & Committees
The U.S. Government engages with and supports several congressionally mandated advisory councils and committees comprised of nongovernmental stakeholders, including:
The United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, established by the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Pub. L. No. 114-22), provides a formal platform for trafficking survivors to advise and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies to the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF). Each member is a survivor of human trafficking, and together they represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. The Council is appointed by the President for two-year terms.
The National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children & Youth in the United States advises the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the nation’s response to trafficking. The Committee was created in consultation with the Department of Justice and the National Governor’s Association per the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (Pub. L. No. 113-183).
The Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act (Pub. L. No. 115-99) required the establishment of the Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking to make recommendations on actions the Department can take to help combat human trafficking, and to develop recommended best practices for states and state and local transportation stakeholders in combating human trafficking.
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (Pub. L. No. 114-125) established the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee to advise the Departments of the Treasury and Homeland Security on the commercial operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and related functions of the departments. This Committee has a Forced Labor Working Group, comprised of trade members and civil society organizations, to act as a standing forum of subject matter experts that can be called together by CBP when forced labor issues arise to solicit feedback and advice from the trade community.
The United States Mexico Canada Implementation Act of 2020 authorized the establishment of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) to monitor the import prohibition on goods made with forced labor (19 U.S.C. § 1307). Executive Order 13923 formally established the FLETF on May 15, 2020. The FLETF was directed to establish timelines for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner to respond to external petitions drawing attention to the presence of forced labor in U.S. supply chains, which was done in the report titled Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force: Establishing Timelines.