Progress in Combating Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. Government Response to Modern Slavery
The Face of Modern Slavery
Unlawful Recruitment or Use of Child Soldiers
Trafficking in persons, or human trafficking, is the act of recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, or maintaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Sex trafficking of a minor under the age of 18 does not require the use of force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-386), as amended, describes this compelled service using a number of different terms, including involuntary servitude, slavery, debt bondage, and forced labor.
Human trafficking can include, but does not require, movement. Under the TVPA, people may be considered trafficking victims regardless of whether they were transported to the exploitative situation, previously consented to work for a trafficker, or participated in a crime as a direct result of being trafficked. At the heart of this phenomenon are the traffickers’ aim to exploit and enslave their victims and the myriad of coercive and deceptive practices they use.
Human trafficking is an opportunistic crime. Traffickers target all types of people: adults and children, women, men, and transgender individuals, citizens and noncitizens alike. No socioeconomic group is immune; new immigrants, Native Americans, runaways, the homeless, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth are particularly vulnerable. One of the most common assumptions about “average” trafficking victims is that they are vulnerable simply because they come from the poorest, most isolated communities, whether overseas or in the United States. Indeed, many do. Yet some victims, from a variety of backgrounds, have reported that their suffering began with their aspirations for a better life and a lack of options to fulfill them.
That’s where the traffickers come in. Exploiting these realities, traffickers appear to offer a solution – a good job, a brighter future, a safe home, or a sense of belonging, even love. They prey on their victims’ hope and exploit their trust and confidence, coercing them into using themselves as collateral for that chance.
In the United States, the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) and its operational arm, the Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG), bring together federal departments and agencies to ensure a whole-of-government approach that addresses all aspects of human trafficking – enforcement of criminal and labor law, development of victim identification and protection measures, support for innovations in data gathering and research, education and public awareness, enhanced partnerships and research opportunities, and strategically linked foreign assistance and diplomatic engagement. The agencies of the PITF are the Departments of State (DOS), 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 Domestic Policy Council (DPC), the National Security Council (NSC), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As part of the PITF, these agencies convene routinely to coordinate both federal policies to combat trafficking in persons and implementation of the TVPA.
Agencies of the PITF have brought together leaders from government, the private sector, advocates and survivors, faith leaders, law enforcement and academia, and have made significant progress following President Obama’s March 2012 call to strengthen federal efforts to combat human trafficking, his September 2012 speech announcing a number of new and strengthened initiatives, and the first-ever White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking in April 2013, where the first recipients of the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons – survivor advocate Florrie Burke and hospitality and travel company Carlson – were honored.
The pages that follow reflect the work these agencies have accomplished over the past year, as well as their commitment to continue their efforts in the year to come. From strengthening the SPOG and its four Committees to implementing the nation’s first-ever Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States, to implementing an Executive Order that strengthens protections against human trafficking in government contracting, PITF agencies are enabling law enforcement and service providers to deploy resources more effectively and raising public awareness both at home and abroad.
Federal agencies also worked to expand partnerships with civil society and the private sector in order to bring more resources to bear in fighting this horrific injustice. Although the primary responsibility for fighting this crime and protecting its survivors lies with governments, governments alone cannot solve this problem. Everyone has a role – from local law enforcement and first responders to the heads of major corporations and everyday citizens. Effective anti-trafficking strategies require partnerships that integrate the experiences and guidance of survivors and reach industries, local communities, schools, religious congregations, and multilateral partners. The U.S. government, for example, funds the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), a national hotline (1-888-373-7888) operated by a nongovernmental organization that provides emergency assistance every day of the year, as well as anti-trafficking task forces in which law enforcement and victim service providers combine efforts to respond to this crime in their communities. Significant partnerships and support for non-governmental efforts have also taken root, including the Partnership for Freedom, where Humanity United and DOJ, HHS, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the first of three challenge award contests, Reimagine: Opportunity, to develop innovative solutions to address human trafficking; twelve finalists will compete to expand access to housing, social services, and economic empowerment for trafficking victims. In addition, DOS has teamed up with Verité, an NGO leader in supply chain management, to implement a project in consultation with federal agencies and other stakeholders to help gather data on the risks of trafficking in the production of goods and provision of services. Working with partners the Aspen Institute and Made in a Free World, Verité will also convene stakeholders and develop a tool for federal contractors and businesses to analyze supply chain risks and adopt ethical sourcing guidelines and compliance plans that align with Executive Order 13627. Finally, partnering with survivors of human trafficking, federal anti-trafficking experts from DOJ, with partners from DHS, DOS, HHS, and the White House, hosted a day-long Survivor Forum and Listening Session to gain insight from a diverse group of survivors in developing more effective programs and strategies.
The Task Force has drawn strength and direction from these partnerships, which have brought procurement officers and CEOs, professors and human resources professional together with law enforcement and victim advocates in the service of freedom. Such effective collaboration has led to concrete results in the United States’ efforts to advance government priorities and combat modern slavery both domestically and globally. This compilation of the Obama Administration’s accomplishments represents merely a snapshot, as of February 2014, of the work made possible by the multifaceted approach the United States has adopted to combat trafficking in persons. Each day, the Obama Administration strives to improve its strategy and to enhance its partnerships in order to fulfill not only the mandates of the TVPA, but also the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
A comprehensive listing of each agency’s accomplishments can be viewed at //2009-2017.state.gov/j/tip/response/usg/index.htm. What follows are selected highlights and individual agency accomplishments as they relate to U.S. government priorities organized by ten strategic objectives:
• DOJ, DHS, and DOL collaborated in developing high-impact human trafficking investigations through six pilot Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams (ACTeams), developed regional strategic plans, implemented coordinated strategies, and disseminated ACTeams Operations Guides.
• DOJ, through its U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAOs), continued to lead or participate in human trafficking task forces in each of the federal judicial districts within the United States and its territories, and employed a comprehensive approach by including law enforcement coordinators and victim assistance personnel in addition to prosecutors.
• DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Criminal Division, and the USAOs together brought 161forced labor and sex trafficking prosecutions in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 under the TVPA, the highest number of human trafficking cases on record in a given year. This total does not include prosecutions involving human trafficking brought under other criminal statutes.
• In 2013, DHS, through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) opened more than 1,000 cases – many with the help of the public through tips about suspected human trafficking – resulting in 816 convictions in federal cases with a nexus to trafficking, and identified over 330 trafficking victims.
• DHS designated 39 specially-trained subject matter experts – at least one in every Special Agent in Charge field office – who handle human trafficking leads, address victim needs appropriately, and serve as points of contact for local officers.
• DHS, through ICE HSI’s New York field office, announced the arrest of 13 individuals on charges of sex trafficking and other crimes as a direct result of a joint effort to enhance investigative data analysis with DOJ, FBI, and the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center (HSTC).
• DOL and DHS participate in 15 DOJ-funded task forces that are operating in eleven states, and DOL participates in 35 non-DOJ-funded task forces, located in fourteen states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
• DOI continued to work with federal and tribal agencies to combat human trafficking in Indian Country casinos, on the Tohono O’Odham reservation across the Southwest Border, and in the Bakken oil region within North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.
• DOD issued a punitive policy on Combating Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) specific to South Korean “juicy bars,” and worked closely with the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, the Korean and Philippine governments, and the local business community to prohibit Service Members’ patronage.
• DOS, through its Diplomatic Security Service Human Trafficking Unit, bolstered its network of contacts within the NGO community, which resulted in an increase in case referrals to the Unit. Diplomatic Security also created a new supervisory civil service agent position tasked to coordinate the agency-wide trafficking portfolio and increased the number of domestic field office agents assigned to trafficking task forces within each region.
• DOJ, HHS, and DHS, co-chairs of the SPOG Victim Services Committee, in partnership with PITF agencies, developed the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017, which was released in January 2014.
• DOJ, together with DHS, DOS, and HHS, hosted a one-day Survivor Forum and Listening Session for a diverse group of 20 human trafficking survivors to gain insight on appropriately engaging survivors in developing more effective programs and strategies.
• HHS launched the SOAR to Health and Wellness Network at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative meeting, a pilot initiative designed to educate medical and health care providers on how to identify and serve victims in coordination with DOJ, DHS, DOS, and USAID.
• DOL, in partnership with HHS and DOJ, held the first series of conference-call listening sessions with an informal network of grantees, workforce investment boards, and stakeholder groups around the issue of employment and training services for trafficking victims.
• HHS awarded $5.0 million to provide comprehensive case management to foreign victims and potential victims of trafficking seeking HHS certification. In FY 2013, HHS issued 406 Certification Letters to adults and 114 Eligibility Letters to child victims of trafficking, and served 915 foreign national clients through the national case management program.
• HHS released new guidance to child welfare systems and runaway and homeless youth programs on how to strengthen identification and service responses to child trafficking.
• HHS supported training, services, and advocacy for victims of all forms of human trafficking who come in contact with domestic violence and runaway and homeless youth programs.
• DHS’s Victim Assistance Program now has 26 full-time Victim Assistance Specialists in 24 of its local investigative offices responsible for assessing victims’ needs. Since FY 2012, Victim Assistance Specialists have assisted more than 600 trafficking victims.
• For the fifth year in a row, DHS saw an increase in T visa applications and reached the annual statutory cap for U visas (10,000), which provide immigration benefits for victims who cooperate in the investigation or prosecution of certain crimes, including human trafficking.
• DOJ is working to meet the housing needs of minor sex trafficking victims in Milwaukee; partnering with NGOs to develop a cooperative victim services case management protocol for trafficking victims in Nebraska; and working with the South Carolina Immigrant Crime Victims Network to satisfy the specialized needs of immigrant trafficking victims.
• EEOC continues to litigate several large civil cases in district courts involving labor trafficking victims.
• EEOC conducted off-site counseling and intake sessions for 720 potential charging parties, who may have been human trafficking victims, and informed them of their workplace rights.
• DOS funds the Return, Reintegration, and Family Reunification Program for Victims of Trafficking, which helped 240 eligible family members join trafficking victims with T visa status in the United States and assisted two survivors to voluntarily return home.
• USAID supported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo the release, rehabilitation, and reintegration of 3,257 children associated with armed groups, 202 of whom were girls.
• USAID supported the development of individualized care plans in Bangladesh for 700 trafficking survivors, the majority of whom moved from shelter support to self-sufficiency in less than one year.
• DOL assisted human trafficking victims to gain restitution for their labor by computing back wages and liquidated damages.
• DOL’s network of more than 2,500 American Job Centers and its Job Corps Program continue to offer TVPA-mandated employment and training services to trafficking victims.
• DOL hosted a May 14, 2013 webinar for the public workforce system, which provided further guidance around workforce, training, and referral services to trafficking victims.
• In collaboration, DHS, DOJ, and DOL trained the final two ACTeams through the Advanced Human Trafficking Training Program, which focuses on complex issues of human trafficking investigations and prosecutions.
• USAID, DHS, HHS, DOL, DOJ, DOD, and DOS prioritized outreach and training to combat human trafficking by participating in numerous trainings, symposiums, and seminars, domestically and internationally, including by training foreign and domestic law enforcement partners to enhance prosecution, protection, and prevention efforts.
• DOT and DHS secured the participation of five airlines in the Blue Lightning Initiative, a training module and pocket guide that educates airline employees on how to identify human trafficking in airports or during flights and how to notify law enforcement.
• HHS partnered with the FBI Innocence Lost Task Forces in a pilot initiative to integrate anti-trafficking into policies affecting runaway and homeless youth programs and strengthen outcomes for trafficked children and youth.
• DOT trained nearly all of its 55,000 employees, as well as federal, state, and local bus and truck inspectors about human trafficking.
• DOL began updating its web-based trafficking awareness and referral training for Wage and Hour investigators based on stakeholder input, and is developing a staff awareness training.
• EEOC increased training for staff on identifying and developing human trafficking cases and for representatives of state and local fair employment practice agencies on trafficking issues.
• The FBI developed a Guide to Applying for Continued Presence for Victims of Human Trafficking, which was distributed to all Victim Specialists, Special Agents working human trafficking cases, and Civil Rights Program Coordinators.
• HHS provided specialized training to frontline professionals working with human trafficking victims through anti-trafficking, refugee resettlement, runaway and homeless youth, child welfare, domestic violence, and health care provider programs through its central and ten regional offices.
• DHS conducts training for federal, state, and local law enforcement, first responders, foreign officials, and NGO representatives on human trafficking, on immigration relief for trafficking victims, and, in collaboration with DOS, on cyber-crime and child exploitation for first responders in Bulgaria, Cambodia, and Thailand.
• DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate developed a Human Trafficking Toolkit Mobile Application for first responders with key points of contact (police, social services, etc.), and human trafficking laws to be piloted in spring 2014.
• DOD requires military and civilian personnel to take human trafficking training annually, and approximately 92 percent of DOD staff reported taking CTIP awareness training in 2013, an increase of approximately 20 percent from the previous year.
• USAID supported training in Cambodia to strengthen law enforcement capacity to investigate trafficking crimes; an anti-trafficking capacity building workshop in Moldova for judges and prosecutors; training and mentoring in Senegal for its National Trafficking in Persons Task Force; and counter-trafficking training in Ecuador for seven local jurisdictions with high rates of trafficking.
• DOS released a new interactive online human trafficking awareness course to enhance employees’ understanding of the signs of human trafficking and reporting obligations; and a new online course for diplomatic security personnel on different human trafficking schemes.
• In August 2013, under the auspices of the United States-Myanmar Joint Plan on Trafficking in Persons, which was launched in 2012, DOS chaired a U.S. delegation in the inaugural session of the U.S.-Myanmar Trafficking in Persons dialogue.
• DOS and DOJ continued to conduct anti-trafficking programs around the world, and, along with HHS and DHS, briefed hundreds of foreign visitors on U.S. anti-trafficking efforts.
• DOS released the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report, describing the anti-trafficking efforts of and ranking 188 countries, including the United States.
• DOS represented the United States at a number of United Nations meetings to discuss human trafficking in supply chains, effective remedies for victims of trafficking, and issues related to child trafficking; and to highlight the U.S. Government’s new victim assistance strategy.
• DOS represented the United States at a number of meetings of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to discuss demand reduction, government procurement, victim protection, and involuntary domestic servitude, including in diplomatic households.
• DOS worked closely with governments to support the passage and implementation of victim-centered anti-trafficking laws in the Dominican Republic, Kenya, and Malaysia.
• USAID supported Haitian officials’ travel to the Dominican Republic to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts, which resulted in 11 children being repatriated and reunited with their families in Haiti.
• USAID provided technical and financial assistance to the Government of Haiti’s Office of the Ombudsman to support the vote on the anti-trafficking bill.
• USAID signed an agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina to help implement 18 out of 33 goals of its Strategy to Fight Trafficking in Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
• DOD continues to conduct human rights training, including on trafficking in persons, for foreign military units receiving equipment or training from the United States; and provides training to partner countries preparing to deploy to United Nations peacekeeping missions, including on preventing and responding to human trafficking.
• In February 2014, DOL signed a formal agreement with the Embassy of Belize, the eleventh such consular partnership to ensure that foreign workers in the United States are informed of their labor rights.
• DHS increased engagement with the international community by signing statements of intent on combating human trafficking with the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, New Zealand, Panama, and Brazil; and a Memorandum of Understanding with Canada.
• DOT led efforts to gain agreement by 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation transportation ministers to combat human trafficking.
• The Partnership for Freedom, a public-private partnership with DOJ, HHS, HUD, and the NGO Humanity United, launched the first of three innovation competitions, Reimagine: Opportunity, dedicated to improving the infrastructure of support for survivors of modern slavery, and hosted an Innovation Workshop for the 12 finalists in January 2014.
• DOS, DOD, DOJ, DOL, HHS, DOT, DHS, USAID, and EEOC continue to meet with federal partners, as well as private sector, nongovernmental, community, and faith-based stakeholders, to receive feedback on programs, help shape future initiatives, and collaborate on anti-trafficking prevention, protection, and prosecution efforts.
• DHS worked with DOS, DOJ, DOD, ED, and HHS to produce four trainings on human trafficking developed specifically for school resource officers and law enforcement.
• DOI and the FBI, along with U.S. Attorneys Offices and state, local, and tribal partners, forged a partnership to prioritize law enforcement resources and responses and to provide anti-trafficking training in regions of North Dakota and Montana that are affected by the Bakken oil boom, which has resulted in an increase in prosecutions.
• DOI continues to collaborate with federal, state, local, and tribal entities to combat the growing human trafficking problem in and around Indian Country.
• DHS attended the National Native American Law Enforcement Association’s annual conference to cultivate partnerships with tribal and territorial law enforcement agencies to more effectively address human trafficking within Native American communities.
• DHS entered into partnership agreements with the National Association of Counties to promote anti-trafficking awareness and with Western Union to promote awareness about human trafficking at thousands of locations within the United States.
• DOS and New Perimeter, LLC, a non-profit organization established by the global law firm DLA Piper, launched a public-private partnership announced at the White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking to increase the availability of pro bono legal support and protection in the United States and internationally to combat trafficking.
• DOD’s Pacific Command engaged with the local NGO community in order to facilitate relationships between NGOs and U.S. agencies involved in combating human trafficking.
• DOD’s U.S. European Command’s Joint Interagency Counter Trafficking Center provides support to U.S. law enforcement and international partner agencies, and builds the capacity of partner nations to detect, monitor, and disrupt trafficking events.
• ED drafted a Memorandum of Understanding with DHS to co-brand materials, including a poster series and anti-trafficking awareness document for schools.
• EEOC’s Strategic Plan for FY 2012-2016 stipulates that the EEOC will target outreach to vulnerable workers and underserved communities, such as human trafficking victims.
• USAID, along with Humanity United, hosted a donor dialogue in conjunction with the UN General Assembly to map a donor agenda for global action that focused on improving data and information sharing, and increasing innovative use of technology to combat trafficking.
• DOL broadly disseminated its guide, Reducing Child Labor and Forced Labor: A Toolkit for Responsible Businesses, to businesses and industry groups, corporate social responsibility-focused groups, foreign governments, NGOs, media, and others.
• DOT continued to expand the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking partnership to maximize the transportation industry’s collective impact on human trafficking.
• USAID continued its partnership with MTV EXIT to support wide-reaching multi-media counter-trafficking campaigns across Asia, and launched an awareness campaign in Ukraine that included a contest for the most effective technology solutions to combat trafficking and culminated in a “hack-a-thon” co-sponsored by Facebook.
• The SPOG Grantmaking Committee, co-chaired by DOS and DOL, continued to share information on matters relating to international and domestic grants and funding priorities to inform funding decisions and to ensure programs are strategic and not duplicative.
• USAID funded a Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) hotline database in the Central Asian Republics, increasing the speed and effectiveness of hotline operators.
• USAID supported Nepal’s Ministry of Education and Sports to integrate safe labor migration education into curricula in 82 schools.
• HHS awarded a grant of $800,000 to Polaris Project to operate the NHTRC 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. The NHTRC is a dedicated, toll-free, U.S. national telephone hotline (1-888-373-7888) that provides emergency assistance, makes victim service referrals, passes on tips to law enforcement, and trains on human trafficking. In 2013, the NHTRC received over 29,064 phone calls and received reports of 4,792 unique cases of potential trafficking.
• HHS awarded $2.9 million for third-year continuation grants for the Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Regional Program to 11 organizations to lead or participate in an anti-human trafficking coalition, to conduct public awareness activities, and to provide training and technical assistance on human trafficking issues to local organizations.
• HHS awarded approximately $37.6 million through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, which included explicit language enabling victims of human trafficking to be served through its various programs.
• HHS supported Family Violence Prevention and Service Act grants to state and territorial domestic violence coalitions, including 27 coalitions who built capacity of programs to serve trafficking victims through training, technical assistance, and advocacy.
• ED provided a $20,000 grant to a local school to develop a guide for educators and school staff on identifying and supporting victims and on developing protocols for victim prevention and protection.
• DOJ awarded funding to 26 organizations to provide services to victims of human trafficking, including seven Enhanced Collaborative Task Force grants, in partnership with DOJ funding for law enforcement partners.
• DOS conducted competitive grant reviews to support prevention, prosecution, and protection projects worldwide to address both sex and labor trafficking and to support efforts focused on child sex tourism, demand reduction, debt bondage, and forced child labor, among other topics. As of the start of FY 2013, the TIP Office had 119 open and active projects in 58 countries, totaling over $66 million.
• DOS provided $500,000 for a technical assistance grant that supported the Government of Burma’s anti-trafficking division, a national assessment and legislative workshops in the Republic of Congo, legislative workshops in Morocco, and draft anti-trafficking legislation in Haiti, including the definition of child trafficking.
• DOS funded new awards in 2013 to promote safer migration as a way to prevent labor trafficking in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Burma.
• From January-April 2013, DHS, along with DOS, DOJ, and HHS; NGOs; and Central American government representatives engaged in a public awareness campaign on the dangers of attempting to illegally immigrate to the United States, including human trafficking, aimed at children and families from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
• The SPOG Procurement and Supply Chain Committee, co-chaired by OMB, DOS, and DOL, which focuses on the implementation of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), worked to gather data on the sectors at greatest risk of trafficking-related activities in federal contracts and global supply chains with the aim of helping agencies implement controls and training to improve monitoring and compliance to prevent trafficking.
• The FAR Council, working with several agencies, developed a proposed rule to implement E.O. 13627 and Title XVII of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013, and it is being finalized after a public comment period.
• DOD published enhancements to the Combating Trafficking in Persons Procedures to ensure against trafficking infractions and inform contract employees of their rights – including the rights to access identity documents, receive wages that are not below the legal in-country minimum wage, and live in reasonably habitable space, if housing is provided.
• DOD established a new Air Force CTIP Task Force comprising Major Command/Direct Reporting Unit/Field Operating Agencies that meets quarterly to address Air Force specific concerns related to CTIP, such as training updates, awareness programs, and preparation for DOD Inspector General investigations.
• DOD established command-wide guidance regarding Combating Trafficking in Persons in support of operations in Afghanistan, including training and contracting requirements.
• HHS increased integration of anti-trafficking activities within the Children’s Bureau and the Family and Youth Services Bureau at the Administration for Children and Families and reflected further commitment to intra-agency coordination in the 2014 ACF Strategic Plan.
• HHS screened 24,668 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) in FY 2013, provided placement services to UACs, including those who were trafficked, and conducted several trainings on responding to foreign child trafficking victims for UAC programs in New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
• In November 2013, DHS approved agency-wide guidance on implementation of Violence Against Women (VAWA) confidentiality protections, where each DHS component would create an individualized implementation plan and ensure the completion of mandatory training. The confidentiality protections affect trafficking victims applying for T visas.
• DOI began collaborating with other agencies to prevent the trafficking of Native Americans, and to coordinate current law enforcement efforts in Oklahoma and plans to engage tribal, state, and local law enforcement; and participated in a listening session with DOS in Minnesota on the issue.
• DOI began focusing drug enforcement agents on human trafficking and illegal gang activities in conjunction with combating illegal narcotic trafficking in Indian Country.
• USAID conducted a two-day global C-TIP training in Washington for field officers; integrated C-TIP into a global gender training attended by employees from missions in Asia, Africa, Europe and Eurasia; conducted C-TIP trainings at missions in Kosovo, El Salvador, and Thailand; and continued its biweekly C-TIP trainings as part of the Agency’s mandatory New Employee Orientation.
• USAID released a Counter-Trafficking in Persons Field Guide in April 2013 to provide practical guidance to field officers and implementing partners to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate implementation of the Agency’s 2012 Counter-Trafficking in Persons Policy.
• DOS engaged in outreach to foreign diplomatic personnel and domestic workers to update them on U.S. government requirements relevant to the employment of domestic workers and to promote continued dialogue with them on related issues.
• In 2013, DOS issued guidance that domestic workers employed in private residences of foreign diplomats ordinarily do not qualify for A-2 visa, and sent a diplomatic note to all foreign missions and international organizations informing them that all new and existing contracts between domestic workers and their employers must reflect DOL’s updated prevailing wage rates.
• DOS continued to educate consular officers about the overseas adjudication of T and U visas for victims of trafficking and their qualifying family members, as well as the “Know Your Rights” (or “Wilberforce”) pamphlet, mandated by the TVPRA 2008.
• ED, in partnership with HHS, trained school administrators and educators on child trafficking in the United States.
• ED included human trafficking awareness information in the Safe and Supportive Schools Newsletter and the Prevention Newsletter, revised its Fact Sheet on Human Trafficking, published a blog, and updated its web pages.
• ED hosted a policy briefing focused on how federal agencies work with state and local officials to combat human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
• ED Secretary Arne Duncan sent a policy letter to Chief State School Officers to guide efforts to create safer communities for youth by raising public awareness of gender-based violence, including human trafficking.
• EEOC conducted 314 human trafficking outreach events to reach over 18,000 people, and maintained a public website with resources for trafficking victims that includes information about the integral role of the laws enforced by EEOC in the fight against human trafficking.
• DHS distributed over 10,000 pamphlets on immigration options for victims of crimes, including human trafficking victims.
• DHS further strengthened the Blue Campaign by updating and distributing public awareness materials to facilities owned by General Services Administration.
• HHS distributed over 747,000 public awareness materials publicizing the Rescue & Restore awareness-raising campaign, funded 11 Rescue and Restore Regional Programs, increased awareness through blogs and social media, and engaged in community forums in all ten regions.
• In FY 2013, the HHS-funded NHTRC created eight online trainings and sent 12 monthly newsletters on trafficking issues to its listserv of nearly 14,000 members.
• DOS held two TechCamps for civil society anti-trafficking organizations in Cambodia and in Mexico focused on designing low-cost, easy-to-implement tools to combat modern slavery.
• DOS developed a 21-episode radio soap opera and user guide, which illustrate three cases of human trafficking, recorded interviews with some of the actors and civil society leaders, and identified as least 50 radio stations throughout Bolivia to play the soap opera.
• DOJ participated regularly in efforts across the country to promote public awareness of all types of trafficking, developed brochures in various languages for human trafficking victims, and produced a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that featured survivors of human trafficking.
• DOD incorporated an anti-trafficking briefing into its pre-deployment/temporary duty assessment checklist, hosted an annual agency anti-trafficking awareness event, and aired PSAs via internal television news media.
• DOD developed a comprehensive checklist to observe U.S. Government contractors’ adherence to a trafficking in persons compliance plan, which is being used by acquisition professionals in the U.S. Central Command.
• DOD launched an information campaign to increase awareness at DOD schools about human trafficking, and trained all of its bargaining unit employees for the first time.
• DOL officials engaged in a number of events and webinars to promote awareness of labor trafficking and of employment and training services available to survivors.
• The SPOG Research and Data Committee, co-chaired by DOS and DOJ, updated and improved a matrix of all human trafficking research funded across the U.S. Government in order to provide the public with a transparent and user-friendly listing and enable federal agencies to ensure their future research projects are complimentary and not duplicative of previous studies.
• DOD issued a directive to include trafficking in persons language in Quality Assurance Surveillance Plans and Performance Requirements Summaries and to emphasize proactive measures, U.S. Central Command-centric reporting, spot checks, and reviews to provide proper oversight of high risk contracts.
• DOD requested specific prime contractors to provide data on their use of hiring agencies, recruitment fees, fee amounts, and recruitment agreements.
• USAID funded research to fill knowledge gaps on human trafficking patterns in Afghanistan through interviews with 94 victims and 160 community leaders to examine the causes of trafficking, its geographic patterns, and the means of coercion used by traffickers.
• USAID fielded the first C-TIP Assessment and Victim Identification Survey of nearly 5000 people in Guatemala to identify survivors and gauge current knowledge, attitudes, and practices about the threats of trafficking. Survey results will inform the design of prevention programming in Guatemala. The methodology will be replicated in additional countries.
• DOJ made three research grant awards under the FY 2013 transnational crimes solicitation to study the scope of labor trafficking victimization among farm workers in North Carolina, the scope and scale of organized crime’s involvement in human trafficking in the United States, and the convergence of radicalization and human trafficking among the Somali diaspora in the United States.
• DOJ released a study on the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States.
• DHS developed a Fusion Center Referral Protocol that enables personnel to share information about human trafficking trends with federal law enforcement for investigation.
• EEOC is altering its charge data systems so it will be able to research and track human trafficking charges throughout the investigative and litigation process.
• HHS awarded continuation grants to two organizations conducting demonstration projects to examine whether engaging pre-certified foreign national victims of human trafficking in enhanced employment services can improve self-sufficiency outcomes.
• DOL released updates to two reports on child and forced labor: the 2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor and the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.
• The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), in dialogue with federal agencies and external stakeholders, launched an initiative to identify financial red flags and guide financial institutions on how to detect and report suspected human trafficking. FinCEN aims to bolster the detection and reporting of human trafficking financing through Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to supplement and aid law enforcement efforts.
• The Intelligence Community, PITF agencies, and HSTC continue to build processes to improve, review, and share intelligence reporting with a focus on preventing human trafficking, protecting victims, and contributing to prosecutions.
• HSTC continued to host the interagency Human Trafficking Data Sharing Working Group to advise on the development of the first-ever, interagency domestic human trafficking assessment for law enforcement, policymakers, and other federal stakeholders. The assessment aims to help the U.S. Government allocate law enforcement and other resources by identifying hotspots for trafficking activity across the United States and revealing trends in victim recruitment and exploitation.
• To expand reporting on global trafficking in persons using existing law enforcement reporting mechanisms, DOS urged diplomatic posts with active interagency Law Enforcement Working Groups (LEWGs) to include human trafficking in their portfolios to ensure that any relevant information discovered be shared with appropriate law enforcement contacts within DOS and with other federal agencies.
• An interagency pilot project, led by DOS, has commenced at 10 overseas posts designed to combat human trafficking. Within this project, Washington-based experts are working closely with 10 select LEWGs to ensure that all pertinent embassy staff are properly trained on trafficking issues and to increase U.S.-host country information-sharing related to trafficking using a variety of methods tailored to each country.
• HSTC continued to share actionable intelligence to further operational leads in support of law enforcement human trafficking investigations on behalf of interagency working groups and task forces.
• HSTC gained momentum and conducted more outreach than previously recorded to domestic and international law enforcement, nongovernmental organizations, intelligence community partners, and foreign government officials on human trafficking, awareness, and information exchange.