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Research is an integral vehicle for enhancing the U.S. government’s understanding of the multifaceted nature of human trafficking and guiding its anti-trafficking policies and programs. Research has also led the anti-trafficking community to rethink existing assumptions and examine new approaches to combat human trafficking. The TIP Office supports evidence-based research that identifies effective strategies for combating this crime.

Commitment To Fighting Human Trafficking Through Research

Over the last decade the U.S. government has funded research focused on labor and sex trafficking in every global area. There has been research on a myriad of topics related to human trafficking, including victim services, law enforcement actions, and methods of prevention. There have also been significant research evaluation studies to measure program effectiveness, impact, and potential for replication. Research has begun to make inroads and close knowledge gaps in our understanding about human trafficking.

Research Inroads

  • For example, Department of Justice funded research has begun to track trafficking within the United States and has uncovered effective techniques for both finding victims and improving law enforcement responses to these victims.
  • The Department of State, for instance, has funded IOM’s Counter-Trafficking Module Database, leading to greater analysis of evolving trends. These trends include the growing recognition of trafficking of men, greater identification of an older victim population, and an increased awareness of forced labor cases.
  • The U.S. government continues to fund qualified organizations through grants and cooperative agreements. U.S. government agencies periodically seek proposals from qualified U.S. organizations, researchers, and academic institutions to conduct research on human trafficking.

U.S. Government-Funded Research

Want to learn more?

To find out more information on a specific research report, please see the research links found in the chart [113 KB] or contact the authors directly.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future