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The Program to End Modern Slavery (PEMS) is pioneering approaches to combat human trafficking by combining cutting-edge research with targeted programming in order to rigorously test prevalence research methods and the effectiveness of human trafficking interventions.

The primary goal of PEMS-funded interventions is to show a measurable reduction in human trafficking within the specific countries and geographic areas, industries, or populations where PEMS programs operate.  There is often a lack of established evidence on what types of programs work best to reduce specific forms of human trafficking, coupled with uncertain estimates about how many individuals might be experiencing trafficking within a given population. PEMS projects conduct baseline quantitative and qualitative research at the beginning of a project to inform program design, understand the trafficking context, and contribute to the growing field of rigorous prevalence research on human trafficking.  After programming has concluded, PEMS projects asses the outcomes of interventions in order to build the evidence base of what activities work best to reduce human trafficking around the world.

The PEMS program began in 2017 with $25 million in funding invested in three countries and has grown to a $150 million program working in 15 countries to date.  Specific countries include Brazil, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guinea, India, Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Programs and Research

Global Fund to End Modern Slavery
(October 2017 – September 2022)

In 2017 TIP Office gave the first PEMS award of $25 million to the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS).  In 2018, GFEMS received an additional $21 million dollars to scale up their programming efforts.  With these awards, GFEMS has administered sub-grants in India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Kenya, and Uganda that address sex trafficking, forced labor of overseas workers, and forced labor in the construction industry.

Freedom Fund
(October 2019 – June 2023)

The Freedom Fund received a $7 million award in 2019 to reduce the prevalence of domestic servitude among women and girls in Ethiopia and in the migration corridor to the Middle East.  The Freedom Fund is working with local organizations and government stakeholders in Addis Ababa and Amhara.

University of Georgia
(October 2018 – September 2025)

The University of Georgia (UGA) has received a total of $23.75 million through PEMS awards.  UGA is working to reduce the prevalence of child sex trafficking in Guinea, Senegal, and Sierra Leone by conducting targeted prevalence baselines and developing programming that builds off of this research.

UGA is also conducting human trafficking prevalence estimates through the Prevalence Reduction Innovation Forum (PRIF) in Brazil, Costa Rica, Morocco, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Tunisia.  The PRIF aims to build a global community of researchers in the science of human trafficking prevalence estimation with a focus on documenting the robustness of various methodological approaches.

Warnath Group
(October 2020 – September 2025)

The Warnath Group received a $15 million award in 2020 to combat child sex trafficking in the Guanacase and Puntarenas provinces of Costa Rica. The Warnath Group is working on prevalence measurement in these provinces and programming activities that focus on intensive training and technical assistance for Costa Rican criminal justice actors, government, and social service providers.

Innovations for Poverty Action
(October 2020 – September 2025)

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) received a $5.6 million award in 2020 to increase the evidence base on what anti-trafficking interventions work best around the world. IPA is working with partner organizations to conduct impact evaluations and randomized control trials testing the effectiveness of anti-trafficking programming.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future