The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) works to combat human trafficking by funding grant projects aimed at strengthening efforts outside of the United States to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent trafficking. The TIP Office awards grants to strengthen legal frameworks, build government capacity, enhance victim protection, and support other anti-trafficking activities. The global trends and country-specific recommendations in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report guide the TIP Office’s regional programming strategies and awards of foreign assistance funding. The TIP Office has awarded more than $265 million in foreign assistance funding to support more than 945 anti-trafficking projects worldwide since 2001.
TIP Office programming includes:
Bilateral and Regional: Multi-year bilateral and regional projects that promote anti-trafficking prosecution, protection, and prevention objectives in specific countries or regions.
Child Protection Compact Partnerships: Multi-year programs supporting negotiated bilateral partnerships with other governments to bolster partner-country efforts to combat child trafficking.
Training and Technical Assistance: Short-term training and technical assistance activities to increase government and civil society capacities to combat trafficking, and deployable technical assistance to help government agencies address more immediate needs.
Emergency Victim Assistance: Rapid assistance for trafficking victims on an emergency case-by-case basis.
Research and Innovation: Short-term and multi-year projects that address unmet research needs and explore innovative approaches to combating human trafficking.
The following examples highlight grantee efforts in the past year to combat human trafficking.
ENACTING ANTI-TRAFFICKING LAWS AND FRAMEWORKS
In Tunisia, a grantee working with various government ministries and civil society groups supported the drafting of a new anti-trafficking law. Following passage of the law, the grantee continues to build the capacity of national government authorities and civil society organizations to implement it.
In Haiti, a grantee is partnering with the local association of women judges to provide training and technical assistance on implementing anti-trafficking laws and to train additional judges, magistrates, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, social workers, and other key stakeholders on how to identify, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking cases.
In Rwanda, collaboration between the government and a grantee led to the drafting of a stand-alone anti-trafficking law. The draft law has been reviewed against the proposed East African Community Anti-trafficking in Persons Bill with the aim of ensuring alignment between regional and national efforts to combat human trafficking.
PROVIDING AND EXPANDING VICTIM SERVICES
In Thailand, a grantee is expanding services for male victims of sex trafficking by providing transitional housing, healthcare services, and life skills training. The grantee is also working to prevent sex trafficking and help young people find alternative livelihoods by launching a village youth center offering empowerment programs and by conducting outreach campaigns to raise awareness of sex trafficking.
In Jordan, a grantee is improving comprehensive services available to trafficking victims, including by training staff of a trafficking shelter run by the Ministry of Social Development and juvenile officers from the Ministry of Social Development. Since 2015, this grantee has assisted 91 victims of human trafficking.
INCREASING PUBLIC AWARENESS AND GOVERNMENT COORDINATION
In Liberia, a grantee helped develop and launch the country’s first anti-trafficking hotline in 2016 in coordination with the Liberian Ministries of Labor and Justice. Liberian government officials currently operate the hotline and respond to calls according to the country’s draft National Referral Pathway, which the grantee also helped create and institutionalize.
In Senegal, a grantee trained law enforcement and other government officials and conducted community outreach events and radio broadcasts to raise awareness of human trafficking, especially of forced begging as a form of labor trafficking. The grantee also strengthened protection measures for children in Koranic schools run by unscrupulous individuals by helping community-based organizations develop action plans.
In Bangladesh, a grantee continued to train national and local government representatives as well as potential and registered migrants on safe migration and human trafficking issues. The grantee also cultivated local “Youth Ambassadors” to sensitize community members about the risk factors associated with unsafe migration.
In Indonesia, a grantee is strengthening real-time data collection on human trafficking networks in the fishing sector and analyzing individuals and organizations complicit in human trafficking schemes. By leveraging its rigorous data analytics capabilities, the grantee is uncovering open source information that may be judicially admissible to assist in efforts to hold human traffickers accountable.
In Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru, a grantee is developing a “Network for Knowledge Management” among investigators, prosecutors, and judges dealing with human trafficking cases. The project is intended to promote information-sharing on regional trafficking trends and align institutional capacity-building priorities in these six countries. This project will also foster greater cooperation within South America on trafficking and serve as a pilot for similar programs in other regions.
Two grantees are implementing projects supporting the U.S.-Ghana Child Protection Compact Partnership to increase the Government of Ghana’s capacity to identify and respond effectively to child trafficking. One grantee supports government efforts to develop standard procedures for, and trains government officials on, victim identification and assistance and the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. The second grantee is building the capacity of local civil society organizations and communities to prevent and respond to child trafficking.
PROVIDING TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
In response to severe flooding in Southern Africa in January 2015, a grantee developed and implemented a new training curriculum for first responders and other officials on incorporating human trafficking into disaster response efforts in Madagascar, Malawi, and Mozambique. The curriculum developed under this grant aims to enhance the effectiveness of responses to exploitation, including human trafficking, in emergency situations.
RESEARCHING TRAFFICKING RISKS IN GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS
In an effort to address trafficking risks in global supply chains, a grantee collaborated with the TIP Office and other interagency partners and NGOs to develop a comprehensive online resource to enable federal contractors, procurement officials, and other companies to understand the risks of human trafficking and develop effective management systems to detect, prevent, and combat the crime. The site, www.ResponsibleSourcingTool.org, includes extensive research on 11 key sectors and 43 commodities at risk for trafficking or trafficking-related activities, and 10 comprehensive risk-management tools. Given the growing concerns about forced labor within the seafood sector, the site also includes tailored tools for that industry.