International Programs to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Fact Sheet
July 9, 2012


The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons’ International Programs Section administers the only U.S. foreign assistance grant program that is dedicated solely to eradicating all forms of human trafficking globally, as outlined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

Though many governments have adopted the international standards of the Palermo Protocol in the past decade plus, it is essential they not waver in their efforts to confront modern slavery as it is governments alone which have the power to punish criminals and provide legal recourse to survivors. Scores of countries need technical assistance, training and resources to improve their enforcement of human trafficking laws and strengthen victim protection and assistance.

Last year, the Office administered $16 million in foreign assistance. The Office currently oversees 168 multi-year bilateral, regional, and global projects totaling approximately $64 million in 70 countries. Partnering with civil society and multilateral organizations, our anti-trafficking programmatic efforts target both sex trafficking and labor trafficking through implementation of the “3P” paradigm of prevention, protection, and prosecution. A fourth “P”—partnership— is integral to the success of any anti-trafficking strategy. Governments, civil society, the private sector, and the public at large working together will lead to the most effective response to modern slavery. Most projects include activities to increase the number of successful prosecutions and nearly all include victim protection activities.

The Office’s foreign assistance and programming priorities are strategically linked to the country-specific tier rankings and diagnostic assessments included in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report. In addition to targeting Tier 3, Tier 2 Watch List, and selected Tier 2 countries when making funding decisions, the Office also considers a country’s financial resources and need for technical support in human trafficking issues, political will to address trafficking in persons, and existing funding used to address trafficking in the country.


Once a year, grant applications are solicited and projects are selected in an open, transparent, and fair competition. The annual solicitation describes funding priorities and how interested organizations may apply for funding. The Office seeks to fund programs that address human trafficking in all its forms, which includes all of the conduct involved in reducing an individual to compelled service.

With the high volume of applications (518) in 2012, competition for limited funding continues to be rigorous and funds are not sufficient for many worthy projects. This year’s programs will be selected from applications submitted by more than 290 organizations requesting approximately $281 million in funding. Applications are evaluated by interagency review panels and projects selected for funding will include a mix of new projects and support for current projects demonstrating exemplary performance and the potential to inform promising practices. Final approval of selected applications is pending and grants will be awarded by September 30, 2012.

The solicitation for 2013 applications will be posted on,, and after October 1, 2012. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals via the Internet at when the next request for proposals is posted.

During FY 2011 the Office obligated a total of $23.9 million in foreign assistance funding. This included approximately $9.3 million in FY 2010 funding and $14.6 million in FY 2011 funding.

This pie chart shows the Office’s anti-trafficking in persons program funding by region: 34 percent of all programs were funded in the Western Hemisphere; 12 percent in Africa; 13 percent in East Asia and the Pacific; 4 percent in Europe and Eurasia; 4 percent in the Near East; 18 percent in South and Central Asia; and, 15 percent of all international anti-TIP programs were global or multiregional in nature. These calculations include the special appropriation the Office received for funding in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.