“My administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking. And I am prepared to bring the full force and weight of our government… whatever we can do, in order to solve this horrific problem.”

President Donald J. Trump
Remarks at Listening Session on Domestic and International Human Trafficking
February 23, 2017

Trafficking in persons, also known as modern slavery or human trafficking, undermines the United States’ core principles and values. It robs millions of people of their freedom, and all too often is a hidden crime.

Human trafficking respects no boundaries. In the United States and in countries around the world, it splinters communities, threatens public safety and national security, distorts economic markets, undermines rule of law, and spurs transnational criminal activity. Human traffickers will continue to expand and diversify their recruitment tactics and methods of exploitation if left unchecked. Traffickers can be strangers, acquaintances, or even family members, and they prey on the vulnerable and on those seeking opportunities to build for themselves a brighter future.

The United States has made the global fight against human trafficking a policy priority and employs a whole-of-government approach to address all aspects of this crime. The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) and the Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG), which consists of senior officials designated as representatives of the PITF agencies, work year-round to address the many aspects of human trafficking both in the United States and around the world. The agencies of the PITF are the Departments of State (DOS), Treasury (Treasury), Defense (DOD), Justice (DOJ), the Interior (DOI), Agriculture (USDA), Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), Transportation (DOT), Education (ED), and Homeland Security (DHS), as well as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Security Council (NSC), the Domestic Policy Council (DPC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

PITF agencies regularly convene to advance and coordinate federal policies and work with a range of stakeholders to collaborate, including on the enforcement of criminal and labor laws to end impunity for traffickers; victim-centered identification and protection services; innovations in data gathering and research; education and public awareness activities; and synchronization of strategically linked foreign assistance and diplomatic engagement.

This report reflects the work that these agencies have accomplished, through a diverse range of partnerships and five SPOG Committees, from September 2016 through September 2017. The achievements included in the following pages range from unveiling a new online and mobile app that provides guidance to companies on how to develop comprehensive social compliance programs to launching a training and technical assistance center aimed at enhancing the public health response to human trafficking and the development of a new program to address the housing needs of human trafficking victims. In addition, the PITF expanded in the last year to include Treasury in recognition of the expertise it brings to anti-trafficking efforts, including in evaluating the nexus between money laundering and human trafficking.

Throughout the reporting period, federal agencies explored how to use resources as effectively as possible to assist victims of this crime, including by identifying those who remain in the shadows subject to unimaginable exploitation and empowering those who have dedicated themselves to shining a light on the darkness cast by human trafficking. This Administration will continue pursuing ways to bolster intelligence collection, information-sharing, and analysis; leverage the best tools and learning; establish effective partnerships with stakeholders; and better integrate survivor input into a range of activities to combat and respond to human trafficking.

Strategic Objectives:

  1. Investigate and prosecute traffickers and dismantle the criminal networks that perpetrate trafficking in persons.
  2. Enhance victim identification and the provision of relief and services for all victims of trafficking.
  3. Enhance training of stakeholders, including civil society, law enforcement, and government officials, to increase identification of victims.
  4. Encourage foreign governments to combat trafficking through international diplomacy and engagement.
  5. Forge and strengthen partnerships and other forms of collaboration to combat trafficking in persons.
  6. Fund domestic and international anti-trafficking programs focusing on prosecution, protection, and prevention.
  7. Integrate anti-trafficking components into relevant government programs.
  8. Promote public awareness about modern slavery.
  9. Spur innovation and improve capacity to combat modern slavery through data collection and research.
  10. Gather and synthesize actionable intelligence to increase the number of domestic and international trafficking prosecutions.

The Face of Modern Slavery
Understanding Human Trafficking

Sex Trafficking
When an adult is required to engage in a commercial sex act as the result of force, threats of force, fraud, coercion or any combination of such means, that person is a victim of human trafficking. Under such circumstances, perpetrators involved in recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, advertising, maintaining, patronizing, or soliciting a person for that purpose are guilty of federal sex trafficking of an adult. This is true even if the victim previously consented to engage in commercial sex.

Child Sex Trafficking: Any child (under the age of 18) who has been recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, advertised, maintained, patronized, or solicited to engage in a commercial sex act is a victim of trafficking regardless of whether or not force, fraud, or coercion is used. The use of children in the commercial sex trade is prohibited both under U.S. law and by legislation in most countries around the world.

Labor Trafficking
Labor trafficking encompasses the range of activities – recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining – involved when a person uses force or physical threats; psychological coercion; abuse of the legal process; a scheme, plan, or pattern intended to hold a person in fear of serious harm; or other coercive means to compel someone to work. Once a person’s labor is obtained by such means, the person’s previous consent or effort to obtain employment with the trafficker does not preclude the person from being considered a victim, or the government from prosecuting the offender. U.S. law prohibits the importation of goods produced by forced labor, including forced child labor; convict labor; and indentured labor under penal sanctions.

Debt Bondage: U.S. law prohibits the use of a debt as a form of coercion to compel a person’s labor. Some workers fall victim to traffickers or recruiters who unlawfully exploit an initial debt assumed as a condition of employment, while in certain countries some workers “inherit” the debt. Although contract violations and hazardous working conditions for migrant laborers do not in themselves constitute human trafficking, the imposition of costs and debts on these laborers can contribute to a situation of debt bondage. In other cases, employment-based temporary work programs in which the workers’ legal status in the country is tied to a particular employer present challenges to workers who would like to flee from such an employer.

Domestic Servitude: Working in a private residence can create unique vulnerabilities, particularly because what happens in a private residence often is hidden from the world, and it is easy to isolate a worker in a private residence. Domestic workplaces are often informal, connected to off-duty living quarters, and not shared with other workers. Such an environment is conducive to exploitation because authorities cannot inspect private homes as easily as formal workplaces. The use of informal, or even verbal, employment contracts compounds vulnerability. Foreign domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to factors such as language and cultural barriers and lack of community ties.

Forced Child Labor: Although children may legally engage in certain forms of work, forms of slavery or slave-like practices – including the sale of children for exploitation, forced or compulsory child labor, and debt bondage and serfdom of children – continue to exist as manifestations of human trafficking, despite legal prohibitions and widespread condemnation.

Unlawful Recruitment or Use of Child Soldiers
Child soldiering can be a form of human trafficking when it involves the unlawful recruitment or use of children – through force, fraud, or coercion – by armed forces as combatants or to carry out support roles such as cooks, porters, messengers, medics, or guards. Perpetrators may be government forces, paramilitary organizations, or rebel groups. In addition to being recruited or used for combat or labor, some child soldiers are sexually abused or exploited by armed groups.

  1. Investigate and prosecute traffickers and dismantle the criminal networks that perpetrate trafficking in persons.
  • DOJ, in coordination with DOL and DHS, continued to develop high-impact human trafficking investigations and prosecutions through the highly effective Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) Initiative, leading implementation of the Initiative in all six Phase II ACTeam Districts, and delivering advanced training and strategic guidance to Phase II ACTeam federal agents, prosecutors, and victim assistance professionals.
  • DOJ secured convictions against 499 defendants in federal human trafficking prosecutions in FY 2017. Of these convictions, 471 involved predominantly sex trafficking and 28 involved predominantly labor trafficking, although several involved both.
  • DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI) initiated 833 human trafficking cases, resulting in 1,602 arrests and 578 convictions, and identified 518 victims of human trafficking in FY 2017.
  • The FBI Human Trafficking Program initiated 316 human trafficking investigations in FY 2017, resulting in the arrests of 553 suspects. The FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Program opened 486 cases relating to child sex trafficking and made 2,135 arrests in FY 2017. The FBI also dismantled 42 criminal enterprises engaged in child sex trafficking, one opened in FY 2017 and 41 opened prior.
  • In FY 2017, DOD initiated 17 human trafficking investigations against contractors, which resulted in 22 suspensions, six debarments, one job termination, and one Administrative Compliance Agreement. DOD has seven ongoing human trafficking investigations and two investigative projects.
  • DOS’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) had 186 open cases, as of September 2017, where DS Special Agents determined human trafficking may be involved. DS conducts human trafficking investigations, most with a nexus to passport or visa fraud, through field offices around the country and agents assigned to U.S. embassies and consulates overseas; it maintains between 150 and 200 active cases per year with a human trafficking element.
  • DOD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline received 33 complaints regarding suspected trafficking in persons incidents and provided those allegations to the appropriate agency for investigation and inquiry. Additionally, the DOD OIG closed 15 previously opened complaints.
  • DOJ and DHS continued to collaborate with Mexican law enforcement counterparts through the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Human Trafficking Enforcement Initiative aimed at dismantling human trafficking networks operating across the U.S.-Mexico border. In August 2017, DOJ secured convictions against eight members of a transnational organized criminal sex trafficking enterprise charged and apprehended through the Initiative.
  • In 2017, each of DOJ’s 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices formulated and submitted district-specific strategies to enhance victim identification, investigation, prosecution, and collaboration, pursuant to DOJ’s January 2017 National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking and the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.
  • DHS created an interagency working group to identify areas of collaboration within the federal government to develop a unified approach to enforcing the statutory prohibition on the importation of goods produced with forced labor.
  • DOJ funded 29 Enhanced Collaborative Model (ECM) anti-trafficking task forces across the United States.
  • DHS ICE/HSI and DOL participated, respectively, in 91 and 75 human trafficking task forces throughout the United States. These task forces are comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a vested interest in human trafficking.
  • Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) continued to receive Suspicious Activity Reports referencing the 2014 advisory informing financial institutions on the indicators of human trafficking. FinCEN proactively shared the information with domestic law enforcement agencies, including PITF agencies, that use financial information to support their human trafficking investigations.
  1. Enhance victim identification and the provision of relief and services for all victims of trafficking.
  • The SPOG Victims Services Committee, co-chaired by DOJ, HHS, and DHS, continued to implement and track progress on the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States, 2013-2017, and released the FY 2015 Status Report in November 2016 and the FY 2016 Status Report in August 2017.
  • HHS anti-trafficking grantees identified 383 foreign national and 98 U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident victims of trafficking, connecting them to services during FY 2017. From January to June 2017, HHS issued approximately 196 certification letters to foreign national adults and 186 eligibility letters to foreign national children.
  • DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) grantees providing services to human trafficking victims reported 6,136 open client cases in 2016, including 2,532 new clients, an increase from 4,517 open client cases and 2,582 new clients served between the same period the previous year.
  • DHS’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted T nonimmigrant status to 669 victims and 667 eligible family members in FY 2017; USCIS met the 10,000 cap for U nonimmigrant status it may grant to principal petitioners each year and approved petitions for 7,627 eligible family members.
  • DHS USCIS published an updated T Nonimmigrant Status Interim Final Rule (Classification for Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons; Eligibility for ‘‘T’’ Nonimmigrant Status) in December 2016.
  • DOI led an interagency working group to develop a set of resource maps that identify federal victim assistance personnel working in Indian Country by address in relation to DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) districts and Indian Country. The resource maps will be distributed to DOI BIA, FBI, and U.S. Attorney’s Office law enforcement and victim service personnel.
  • In FY 2017, DOS’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) funded a program that helped 277 individuals to join family members who were identified as victims of trafficking in the United States, and provided return assistance to one trafficking survivor.
  • HHS published a report detailing the results of an effort to develop and pre-test a trafficking screening tool with 600 youth involved in child welfare and runaway and homeless youth settings, which was found to be accessible to youth and effective in identifying victims.
  • The FBI Victim Services Division’s (VSD) 153 victim specialists provided more than 32,000 direct services to victims of human trafficking in nearly 400 cases. FBI victim specialists also provided ongoing support to victims and families throughout the investigative process.
  • DOS’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) continued to support a global emergency victim assistance fund, managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to provide short- to medium-term direct assistance for trafficking victims overseas on an emergency, case-by-case basis. In FY 2017, 253 victims of human trafficking received services, including shelter, medical care, repatriation, and reintegration assistance.
  • DOL’s Reentry Employment Opportunities Program in FY 2017 served 517 formerly incarcerated women participating in work release programs that identify participants at risk of being targeted by traffickers due to past criminal involvement and offer trauma-informed case management and employment and training resources to help mitigate this risk.
  • The EEOC received 12 new charges of discrimination linked to human trafficking from civil lawsuits, resolved 10 pending charges, and recovered $272,500 in monetary benefits for charging parties through its administrative enforcement efforts from September 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. As of September 30, 2017, the EEOC had 27 pending charges linked to human trafficking.
  • DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) awarded $1,350,000 to three pilot sites and $521,523 to one training and technical assistance (T&TA) provider for the FY 2017 Mentoring for Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Sex Trafficking Initiative to enhance the capacity of grantees.
  • USAID programming reached more than 15,000 trafficking victims worldwide through the provision of services, including legal support, health and psychosocial support, life skills training, and job placement.
  • DOS’s Diplomatic Security Victims’ Resource Advocacy Program provided operational support during the execution of warrants where victims were identified, as well as direct services and connections to case management, housing, and available support for victims.
  • DOL completed law enforcement certifications for T and U visas, including for extortion, fraud in foreign labor contracting, and human trafficking.
  1. Enhance training of stakeholders, including civil society, law enforcement, and government officials, to increase identification of victims.
  • In January 2017, HHS’s Office on Trafficking in Persons launched the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC) to inform and improve the health and human services response to human trafficking.
  • DOI BIA provided training on human trafficking in Indian Country to 1,324 attendees on a range of topics meant to increase public awareness about human trafficking in Indian Country and help attendees learn to detect and respond to human trafficking. DOI BIA training initiatives include law enforcement and victim or social services in federal, state, and tribal governments and NGOs. DOI BIA expanded to new disciplines and organizations, such as the National Indian Gaming Commission, medical services, and states developing human trafficking task forces.
  • DOJ provided anti-trafficking T&TA through the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)’s T&TA Center to 3,748 victim service providers and allied professionals between September 2016 and September 2017 to build community capacity to identify and respond to human trafficking.
  • DHS’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) provided Human Trafficking Train the Trainer in-service training for FLETC instructors and other agency personnel and trained more than 1,650 students of federal law enforcement basic training programs in indicators of human trafficking. Additionally, FLETC provided advanced training to more than 1,300 federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials and stakeholders on human trafficking, including how to detect and investigate the crime.
  • DOL completed the delivery of Human Trafficking Awareness training to all Wage and Hour investigators and launched a mandatory new course for all DOL employees on recognizing indicators of human trafficking.
  • HHS trained 1,213 individuals, including health care providers and social workers, through regional offices and NHTTAC. HHS also provided T&TA to child welfare agencies in all 50 states, schools, youth-serving organizations, and local businesses, among others.
  • DOT provided anti-trafficking training for federal, state, and local bus and truck inspectors, and nearly all 55,000 DOT employees.
  • In FY 2017, several DOL-funded State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) worked with victim service providers, state Attorney General offices, and the EEOC to train staff of several farmworker-serving American Job Centers on human trafficking. This training is to fulfill part of updated DOL regulations that require SWAs to train their outreach workers on human trafficking and sexual assault.
  • HHS established a five-year strategic plan for the SOAR (Stop. Observe. Ask. Respond.) to Health and Wellness training program. The plan provides a three-tiered approach that first provides foundational information through SOAR trainings and resources to individuals and HHS personnel, then builds on this foundation by focusing on how to enhance organizations’ response to human trafficking. Lastly, SOAR offers in-person training on proactive approaches to build a community-based, multi-disciplinary response to human trafficking.
  • In FY 2017, DOS TIP Office grantees trained 4,530 criminal justice practitioners, including judges, magistrates, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials, in 20 countries to strengthen coordination on victim-centered investigations and prosecutions.
  • DHS USCIS trained more than 3,700 stakeholders on immigration options available to victims of human trafficking. USCIS also created and provided training for its officers who adjudicate applications for T nonimmigrant status and petitions for U nonimmigrant status on how employer power and control may lead to workplace crimes, including labor trafficking.
  • Nearly all DOI full-time law enforcement are taking the DHS Blue Campaign computer-based human trafficking training as part of their basic training at FLETC. In addition, 254 DOI employees, mostly law enforcement officers, have voluntarily taken the Blue Campaign online class in FY 2017.
  • DOJ provided training for hundreds of prosecutors, law enforcement, and victim services professionals on strengthening victim-centered and trauma-informed human trafficking investigations and prosecutions, including how to build proactive labor trafficking investigations, financial investigations, and mandatory restitution orders.
  • USAID enhanced training of government and civil society stakeholders to combat human trafficking in Africa and Asia. These programs included training on how to implement action plans and how to institutionalize anti-trafficking content into police training curriculum.
  • USDA offered several training modules to its personnel and local law enforcement officers on how to identify and combat human trafficking.
  • The EEOC continued training staff and representatives of state and local fair employment practice agencies on identifying and developing human trafficking cases.
  • DOS DS’s San Francisco Field Office hosted more than 100 law enforcement and prosecution officials from nine partner nations, INTERPOL, and more than two dozen U.S. law enforcement agencies at the Transnational Organized Crime Conference in May 2017.
  1. Encourage foreign governments to combat trafficking through international diplomacy and engagement.
  • DOS released the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, assessing the anti-trafficking efforts of governments and ranking 187 countries and territories, including the United States. The theme of the 2017 Report focused on effective strategies to enhance criminal accountability of traffickers and address global challenges in prosecution efforts.
  • DOS led the U.S. government delegation – which also included DOJ, HHS, and DHS – in the third Trilateral Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, which Mexico hosted in November 2016. At this meeting, government and NGO counterparts from Canada, Mexico, and the United States focused on prevention, and participants discussed collaboration on anti-trafficking awareness efforts and exchanging best practices on investigations and prosecutions.
  • Between September 2016 and September 2017, DOS undertook engagement with foreign governments and collaborated in several multilateral venues, such as the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, encouraging increased efforts to prosecute trafficking, improve protection for victims, and prevent the crime. Multilateral engagements helped DOS generate support for key priorities in outcome documents, such as addressing the risks of human trafficking in supply chains, increasing victim identification and assistance, including in situations of crisis and conflict, and incorporating survivor input.
  • U.S. trade agreements and trade preference programs negotiated by USTR include enforceable obligations to eliminate forced labor and to address trade in goods produced by forced labor. USTR continued to engage foreign governments to combat human trafficking through Trade and Investment Framework Agreements, particularly in Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, for example, USTR met with government officials to address legislative amendments to strengthen efforts to combat human trafficking.
  • The DOS TIP Office launched two Child Protection Compact Partnerships in FY 2017. In the Philippines, the Partnership will support sustainable improvements in the capacity of the government and civil society to combat child labor trafficking and sex trafficking in which Filipino children are induced to perform sex acts for live internet broadcast to paying customers, many of whom are foreigners; in Peru, the Partnership will build on state and civil society efforts to address all forms of child trafficking.
  • As a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Transportation Working Group, DOT highlighted anti-trafficking activities by several APEC countries and worked to ensure the Working Group’s Ministerial Statement commended these efforts and underscored the integral role of Ministries of Transportation in combating human trafficking.
  • DHS’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) chaired the annual Border Five meeting in Sydney, Australia, to propose international collaboration, joint operations, and international standardization of practices to combat forced labor among the Border Five partner countries – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
  • DOD collaborated with foreign partner militaries in more than 50 countries to provide training on human trafficking, reaching an estimated 2,200 foreign military members.
  • Through its International Visitors Leadership Program, DOS’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) sponsored 124 individuals, including government officials, human rights activists, law enforcement officials, and NGO representatives, in 17 projects to review efforts in the United States to combat trafficking at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • The FBI provided training on child sexual exploitation to officials from Thailand and Ethiopia, and met with delegations from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia to discuss victim-centered responses to child sex trafficking.
  • A DOS-funded project in Peru co-organized the Fifth Latin American Congress on Trafficking and Smuggling in June 2017, which united 121 actors from 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to exchange promising practices and discuss the complexities of human trafficking in Latin American and the Caribbean region.
  1. Forge and strengthen partnerships and other forms of collaboration to combat trafficking in persons.
  • PITF agencies collaborated with the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking on implementation of the recommendations in its 2016 annual report for improving federal anti-trafficking programs and policies.
  • DOJ OVC transferred more than $16 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs to develop a new award program to address the housing needs of human trafficking victims. DOJ and HUD worked with interagency partners to design the program, incorporating feedback received from survivors on housing needs.
  • HHS piloted the first cohort of the Human Trafficking Leadership Academy. The program is designed to promote leadership opportunities among survivors of trafficking and anti-trafficking professionals as they work to identify promising practices and make recommendations to anti-trafficking grantees on providing services that are both survivor- and trauma-informed.
  • Treasury’s FinCEN partnered with international and domestic stakeholders to increase efforts to combat the financial operations of human traffickers and networks.
  • On September 19, 2017, during the 72nd Meeting of the UN General Assembly, the United States along with 36 other countries endorsed “A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery, and Human Trafficking,” a high-level political commitment to enhance international responses, including strengthening legislation and criminal justice efforts, providing victim support, increasing prevention and community engagement, addressing transparency in supply chains, and forging partnerships with civil society and the private sector.
  • DOI, primarily BIA’s victim services personnel and law enforcement, partnered with more than 60 state, local, and tribal criminal justice and social service providers to raise awareness of human trafficking. These partnerships led to training initiatives, including for casinos, state-wide strategic anti-trafficking plans for tribes, a greater number of victims identified and served, and mapping of resources.
  • DOS, in collaboration with DOL and OMB, and Public Services and Procurement Canada, organized a senior working-level forum with government officials from New Zealand and the United Kingdom to discuss government efforts to combat human trafficking in public procurement and private sector supply chains.
  • The DHS Blue Campaign entered into a formal partnership with the new Alaska Human Trafficking Working Group established by the Mayor of Anchorage to provide training and awareness materials and collaborate on local anti-trafficking efforts.
  • In January 2017, DOL and DHS USCIS signed a Memorandum of Agreement authorizing the agencies to share real-time immigrant and nonimmigrant visa program information, including labor certification data. This agreement was designed to enhance worksite investigations and information-sharing about program debarments and other sanctions imposed on program violators.
  • DOS ECA collaborated with Coursera, an online education provider, to expand the Coursera for Refugees partnership by launching pilots in additional cities. Additional educational platforms may reduce the vulnerability of refugees to trafficking. Since the partnership’s launch in June 2016, the program is estimated to have served more than 6,000 refugee learners.
  • In 2017, DOJ’s Office on Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training partnered with Mexico’s Office of the Attorney General to develop a victim identification curriculum that is currently being taught to Mexican federal and state officials, as well as NGO stakeholders.
  • DOJ led an interagency collaboration with DOL and DHS to increase criminal investigations and prosecutions targeting actors benefiting financially from forced labor within corporate supply chains in the importation context.
  • DOJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section continued its collaboration with Treasury’s FinCEN, NGOs, and other entities to raise awareness of the financial side of combating human trafficking and the ability to return forfeited funds to victims.
  1. Fund domestic and international anti-trafficking programs focusing on prosecution, protection, and prevention.
  • The SPOG Grantmaking Committee, co-chaired by DOS, DOJ, and USAID, continued to collaborate on matters relating to international and domestic grants and priorities to inform funding decisions and ensure programs are strategic and not duplicative.
  • HHS funded the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which received reports of 8,686 unique cases of potential trafficking in FY 2017, referencing 21,644 potential victims of human trafficking.
  • The DOS TIP Office awarded more than $23 million to fund 35 new projects worldwide that address both sex and labor trafficking. As of September 2017, the DOS TIP Office had 86 open anti-trafficking projects in 65 countries, totaling more than $69 million.
  • The DOS TIP Office awarded $25 million for the new Program to End Modern Slavery, which aims to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery in specific countries and regions, as well as to increase global funding to address this issue.
  • HHS awarded $13.194 million in grants to identify and assist domestic and foreign national victims of trafficking in FY 2017.
  • DOJ funded 11 task forces in FY 2016 and two task forces in FY 2017 through 26 awards to law enforcement agencies and victim service providers, totaling $18 million under the ECM Task Force grant program, a cooperative effort designed to execute a comprehensive approach to identifying and combating all forms of trafficking.
  • DOJ made 38 new awards for the identification of and assistance to victims of human trafficking in FY 2016, totaling $25.7 million, and 23 awards in FY 2017, totaling $21.4 million. Of these new awards, 12 were for comprehensive services, 39 were for specialized services, six were for improving outcomes for child and youth victims of trafficking, three were for strengthening services for American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking in urban areas, and one was for increasing legal assistance to trafficking victims across the United States.
  • DOJ awarded two organizations a total of $1.7 million in FY 2017 to provide T&TA to victim service providers on the housing and employment needs of trafficking survivors.
  • DOL funded projects implemented by the International Labor Organization (ILO) to address forced labor. For example, the ILO issued a survey report on labor recruitment practices in Uzbekistan’s cotton sector, which led the Government of Uzbekistan to acknowledge publicly, for the first time, the risks of forced labor and endorse the report’s recommendations for recruitment system reform. In addition, the ILO supported the Governments of Nepal and Peru to carry out nationally representative statistical surveys on child labor and forced labor.
  • DOJ OJJDP provided funding to develop a National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking, which provides judicial officials an opportunity to expand their knowledge of trafficking risk factors, victim identification, effective intervention strategies, and cultural considerations. As of July 2017, six institutes were held in five states.
  • DOS’s Office of the Chief of Protocol (Protocol) implemented the domestic worker In-person Registration Program for A-3 and G-5 visa holders employed by foreign mission and international organization personnel. Protocol launched a new employment contract template to facilitate compliance, and had ongoing dialogue with Deputy Chiefs of Mission and senior international organization officials on their obligation to provide oversight of domestic worker employment.
  1. Integrate anti-trafficking components into relevant government programs.
  • Members of the SPOG Procurement & Supply Chains Committee supported the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s work to evaluate public comments submitted in response to a Federal Register Notice seeking input on the definition of “recruitment fees” as used in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, “Ending Trafficking in Persons.”
  • The EEOC’s Strategic Plan established a national framework to achieve the agency’s mission. In its 2017 Annual Report, the EEOC reiterated its commitment to issues affecting vulnerable workers and underserved communities, including victims of human trafficking.
  • DHS ICE/HSI, through its Victim Assistance Program, created and distributed a new brochure entitled, “Information for Immigration Court Personnel,” and launched a dedicated hotline for immigration court personnel to relay time-sensitive information on potential human trafficking cases.
  • In Nepal, USAID supported the Ministry of Women, Children, and Social Welfare to develop an online service directory that provides stakeholders, including victims of trafficking, with easy access to information on emergency care and shelter, health and psychosocial care, vocational services, livelihood development support, and legal services. USAID also worked with Nepal’s Ministry of Education to host 90 career fairs for 12,790 students in government schools and collaborated on curriculum development to mainstream safe migration and human trafficking messages.
  • HHS integrated anti-trafficking activities within runaway and homeless youth, child welfare, Native American social and economic development, domestic violence, teen pregnancy prevention, and mental health service programs.
  • DOD’s Defense Contract Management Agency, in combination with U.S. Pacific Command and Army Contracting Command, created human trafficking training exercises for the Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise held in March 2017 that focused on potential contract violations and the appropriate corrective actions.
  • On November 18, 2016, the EEOC approved its new Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination, providing the EEOC’s interpretation of the law that protects against national origin employment discrimination, including such employment discrimination involving human trafficking. The EEOC also issued two companion publications: “Questions and Answers: Enforcement Guidance on National Origin” and “Small Business Fact Sheet: National Origin Discrimination.”
  • DOT and DHS, through the Blue Lightning Initiative, continued to train airline personnel on recognizing and responding to potential instances of human trafficking and formed new partnerships with 16 airlines and associations.
  1. Promote public awareness about modern slavery.
  • The SPOG Public Awareness & Outreach Committee, co-chaired by DOS, HHS, and DHS, served as a forum for agencies to seek feedback on public awareness and outreach activities and share information on planned events and materials to allow for cross-promotion and avoid duplication of effort. The Committee also collaborated on a social media toolkit for federal agencies to amplify National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month through engagement with public audiences and stakeholders.
  • ED continued to raise awareness about human trafficking by informing school communities about the problem; providing technical assistance through its four technical assistance centers; encouraging schools to embed the issue in emergency operations and management planning; and working with other federal, state, and local agencies to develop and disseminate resource material, such as Human Trafficking in America’s Schools.
  • The EEOC partnered with community-based organizations devoted to anti-trafficking work and conducted 226 anti-trafficking outreach events, reaching 12,056 attendees from September 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. The EEOC also continued its efforts to increase public awareness about human trafficking and the link to equal employment opportunity law by providing resources on its website for human trafficking victims.
  • The DHS Blue Campaign raised public consciousness of human trafficking across the country by creating new tools and resources. In FY 2017, with input from human trafficking survivors and other partners, the Blue Campaign created a new Public Service Announcement (in English and Spanish) that is focused on labor trafficking, and updated posters, brochures, and key-tag cards targeting vulnerable communities to engage in the fight against human trafficking.
  • In January 2017, HHS public awareness messages on human trafficking for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month were shared with a potential audience of 2.6 million individuals through social media outreach.
  • DOT launched a public website for the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative with resources and a toolkit for industry stakeholders to sign pledges, issue leadership statements, train their employees, and conduct public awareness campaigns.
  • USAID implementing partners reached more than 1.76 million individuals at risk for human trafficking through targeted outreach and awareness raising campaigns, including in Bangladesh, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.
  • DOS and DOL continued to engage with private sector representatives, including the electronic industry’s new Responsible Labor Initiative, the Consumer Goods Forum, and interested corporations, among others, through public speaking and meetings to urge the adoption of promising practices to combat human trafficking in supply chains.
  • In Egypt, USAID supported the first-ever national awareness campaign to educate young Egyptians on trafficking vulnerabilities related to migration. USAID also supported the development of an internet awareness campaign that reached more than 1.1 million viewers and brought significant attention to Egypt’s National Coordinating Committee for the Prevention of Irregular Migration and Trafficking in Persons’ Facebook page.
  • DHS ICE/HSI Victim Assistance Specialists conducted 812 outreach events on human trafficking, providing training to more than 24,100 federal, state, and local law enforcement, victim advocates, NGOs, prosecutors, and others.
  1. Spur innovation and improve capacity to combat modern slavery through data collection and research.
  • The SPOG Research & Data Committee, co-chaired by DOS and DOJ, bolstered agencies’ understanding of the scope, demographics, and nature of human trafficking by facilitating information sharing about human trafficking research and data projects, inviting external researchers to present on their latest findings, and driving interagency discussions on how to address challenges related to gathering, harmonizing, and sharing human trafficking data. Committee members also contributed to member agency forums focused on human trafficking, particularly prevalence methodologies and estimates.
  • In September 2017, DOL released its Comply Chain: Business Tools for Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains mobile application to provide companies with step-by-step guidance on how to identify, remediate, and prevent child labor and forced labor through strong social compliance systems in their global supply chains. DOL also updated its Sweat & Toil: Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking Around the World mobile app to include the 2016 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor and the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.
  • USAID invested in innovation and anti-trafficking research, such as Afghanistan’s first national research study to identify gaps and challenges in existing government anti-trafficking policies and mechanisms, a mapping assessment of key private sector actors in Asia, and a victim identification survey in the Philippines looking at prevalence rates.
  • DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency partnered with a company to fund the creation of software used to identify missing persons and potential trafficking victims through the web.
  • HHS conducted a nationwide survey and interviews in six pilot states to understand stakeholder opinions on data collection practices, establish data standards and definitions, and evaluate the need for a new human trafficking data collection platform.
  • DOJ released its report on the Trafficking Information Management System, a standardized reporting tool for OVC grantees that collects performance measurement data to offer insight to anti-trafficking stakeholders about the broad range of service needs of trafficking victims.
  • DOJ funded three new research and evaluation projects in FY 2017 to gain a better understanding of the identification of human trafficking victims and investigation of perpetrators.
  • The DOS TIP Office supported IOM’s efforts to enhance its Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative, the first global data hub on human trafficking. New partnerships with anti-trafficking NGOs have brought the total number of human trafficking case records on the site to nearly 80,000 victims of 180 nationalities in 117 countries.
  • In FY 2017, DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) obtained OMB approval to continue the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), which looks at the demographic, employment, and health of hired crop farm workers, including workers employed by labor contractors, and made changes to the questionnaire. Some NAWS questions ask about potential indicators of human trafficking, such as being paid below the minimum wage and living in unsuitable (crowded) housing owned or operated by the employer.
  • From January to March 2017, a project in West Africa funded by DOS PRM carried out nine data collection sessions using a tracking tool to collect data on mobility patterns, trends, and migrant profiles in regional migratory routes to provide referral services to victims of trafficking or migrant smuggling.
  • The Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center (HSTC) established the Human Trafficking Community of Interest, a secure and interactive web-based collaboration space for U.S. government interactions.
  • The EEOC continued to track training and outreach involving human trafficking issues through its charge data system.
  1. Gather and synthesize actionable intelligence to increase the number of domestic and international trafficking prosecutions.
  • The Intelligence Community, PITF agencies, and HSTC continued to build processes to improve, review, and share intelligence reporting with a focus on preventing human trafficking, protecting victims, and advancing prosecutions.
  • The FBI Human Trafficking Program continued to enhance the Labor Trafficking Initiative to improve efforts to identify labor trafficking cases. Under the Initiative, FBI agents collaborate with intelligence personnel to identify areas where vulnerable visa holders, as well as potential labor trafficking victims, may work and reside within the United States. Agents conduct outreach and liaise with state regulatory agencies, as well as other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies within their specific regions that regularly interact with potential victims. Agents also provide outreach materials to potential victims, as well as community members and others who may interact with potential labor trafficking victims.
  • HSTC delivered seven intelligence products to enhance law enforcement’s understanding of traffickers’ tactics by addressing key intelligence questions related to traffickers’ recruitment methods and activities as well as common indicators of the crime.
  • DOS DS used its global case management system to analyze trends, anomalies, and vulnerabilities identified by criminal investigations and intelligence analysts of trafficking cases and provided weekly products to more than 2,300 agents, analysts, and law enforcement partners worldwide.
  • HSTC gained access to more than 20 databases/datasets from government agencies and NGOs and initiated a move to cloud-based storage, processing, and computing for generating leads, and network and link analysis for combating human trafficking.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard, in collaboration with HSTC, shared intelligence summaries that included human trafficking reports and trends within the maritime domain.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future