The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) combats human trafficking in many ways, including by funding programs that strengthen international capacity to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent the crime of trafficking from occurring. The TIP Office develops programming frameworks to address the global trends and country-specific recommendations in the Trafficking in Persons Report and seeks to incorporate survivor- and trauma-informed approaches across programs. The TIP Office oversees a competitive grant process and funds programs that advance the 3P paradigm (Prosecution, Protection, and Prevention), including strengthening legal frameworks, building government capacity, and enhancing victim protection. Since 2001, the TIP Office has managed more than $320 million in foreign assistance funds through more than 980 awards implemented by U.S. and foreign NGOs, institutions of higher education, and international organizations.
TIP Office programming includes:
- Bilateral and Regional: Multi-year programs that promote victim-centered investigations and prosecutions, protection for victims, prevention efforts, and partnership objectives in specific countries or regions.
- Child Protection Compact Partnerships: Multi-year negotiated bilateral partnerships that bolster partner-country efforts to combat child trafficking.
- Emergency Victim Assistance: Rapid assistance for victims of human trafficking overseas on an emergency, case-by-case basis.
- Global Action, Research, and Innovation: Multi-year programs that address unmet research needs, explore innovative approaches, and address other anti-trafficking priorities on a global basis.
- Program to End Modern Slavery: Multi-year program funding transformational and innovative projects to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery among targeted populations in specific countries or regions.
- Training and Technical Assistance: Short-term, targeted activities to increase government and civil society capacity to combat trafficking, and deployable technical assistance to address more immediate needs.
The following examples highlight some of our successes in 2019.
Enacting Anti-Trafficking Legal Frameworks
In Bhutan, an international organization worked closely with the Department of Law and Order and several other government ministries to develop and implement the country’s first standard operating procedures (SOPs) for victim identification and referral. Using these SOPs, Bhutanese authorities proactively initiated investigations into widespread reports of labor exploitation, including forced labor, among Bhutanese workers abroad.
In Ecuador, a grantee supported government development of a National Action Plan (NAP) against Trafficking in Persons. The NAP sets out specific steps and responsibilities to combat trafficking and was adopted and presented to the public at a December 2019 event.
Providing and Expanding Victim Services
In India’s state of Maharashtra, a grantee provided more than 200 child victims of sex trafficking with legal services, leading to 166 arrests. The grantee trained more than 100 service providers within the state’s quasi-judicial Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) to provide child-friendly victim protection services. The grantee and government-funded CWCs play a critical role, providing needed services to thousands of child victims of sex trafficking and sexual abuse.
In Tunisia, a grantee aided 64 Ivorian victims of trafficking with assistance, including voluntary repatriation. The grantee also helped the governments of Tunisia and Ivory Coast establish a dialogue about collaboration on enforcement and investigations while sharing best practices to protect those most vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation.
In Vanuatu, a grantee provided emergency assistance to 101 Bangladeshi victims of human trafficking, including food, shelter, psychosocial counseling, and health assistance. The grantee also assisted 95 of the victims with voluntary return to Bangladesh after prolonged periods of time in Vanuatu. All returned victims received reintegration assistance to cover the costs of starting small businesses, including farms, restaurants, and retail stores.
Building Criminal Justice System Capacity
In Iraq a grantee supports the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes perpetrated by the Islamic State through the collection and preservation of evidence of enslavement, identification of those responsible, and related case-building for criminal justice initiatives. The organization’s investigations and analyses have supported a number of law enforcement initiatives – including the first worldwide case of trafficking in persons by a member of the Islamic State in Germany.
In Uganda, a grantee supported the government’s establishment of specialized units to investigate and prosecute trafficking in persons cases by providing a cadre of dedicated officials with on-the job training from TIP-experienced prosecutors and law enforcement officials. Additionally, with assistance from an embedded experienced TIP attorney, Ugandan law enforcement officials and prosecutors concluded six prosecution-led investigations.
In Indonesia, a grantee partnered with civil society, the Indonesian government and multiple international stakeholders to conduct several dozen in-depth investigations of forced labor cases in the global fishing sector. This has increased Indonesia’s ability to pursue civil or criminal cases while enabling investigations in other jurisdictions.
In Jamaica, a grantee conducted a series of workshops on child trafficking for more than 60 jurists from a number of courts, including Supreme Court Justices. Trainings topics included victim identification, international and local laws on trafficking, victim protection principles and tools, understanding child victims, witness trauma, and sentencing. This exposed the Jamaican judiciary to new information, particularly regarding the impact of trauma on witnesses, which may be incorporated into their regular practice.
Promoting Regional Partnerships
A grantee created a global victim case management system (VCMS) that partners with 82 frontline organizations around the world to provide services to victims of and those vulnerable to human trafficking. The VCMS provides organizations with cutting edge information technology and online platforms to maintain critical victim case data and improve current processes. Since its inception, organizations that use the VCMS have collected data on more than 18,563 trafficking cases.
In Lebanon, a grantee established a Levant Regional Dialogue, bringing together high level immigration and law enforcement officials from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey to discuss best practices in identifying and investigating trafficking cases. The group established common standard operating procedures to provide protective services to trafficking victims, especially those who are unable to return to their home countries.