Progress in Combating Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. Government Response to Modern Slavery
President’s Interagency Task Force To
Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons was authorized by section 105(a) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000
(Pub. L. 106-386) and established by Executive Order 13257, sec. 1(a)
(Feb. 13, 2002).
Agencies of the President’s Interagency Task Force:
Department of State
Department of Defense
Department of Justice
Department of the Interior
Department of Agriculture
Department of Labor
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Transportation
Department of Education
Department of Homeland Security
Domestic Policy Council
National Security Council
Office of Management and Budget
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Agency for International Development
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Progress in Combating Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. Government Response to Modern Slavery
The Face of Modern Slavery
When an adult engages in a commercial sex act, such as prostitution, as the result of force, threats of force, fraud, coercion or any combination of such means, that person is a victim of trafficking. Under such circumstances, perpetrators involved in recruiting, harboring, enticing, 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 adult previously consented to engage in such activities.
Child Sex Trafficking
When a minor (defined under federal law as a person under 18 years) is recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, advertised, maintained, patronized, or solicited to engage in a commercial sex act, proving force, fraud, or coercion is not required. 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 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, deception, 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.
Bonded Labor or Debt Bondage
U.S. law prohibits the use of a bond or debt as a form of coercion and criminalizes it as a form of trafficking in persons. Some workers inherit debt, while others fall victim to traffickers or recruiters who unlawfully exploit an initial debt assumed as a condition of employment.
Debt Bondage Among Migrant Laborers
Although contract violations and hazardous working conditions for migrant laborers do not necessarily constitute human trafficking, the burden of illegal costs and debts on these laborers can contribute to a situation of debt bondage. Such circumstances may occur in the context of employment-based temporary work programs when the workers’ legal status in the country is tied to the employer and workers fear seeking redress.
In the case of domestic servitude, the circumstances of providing services in a residence create unique vulnerabilities. Domestic workplaces are often informal, connected to off-duty living quarters, and not shared with other workers. Such an environment, which often isolates domestic workers, is conducive to exploitation because authorities cannot inspect private homes, as easily as formal workplaces.
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, 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. U.S. law prohibits the importation of goods produced by forced labor, including forced child labor.
Unlawful Recruitment or Use of Child Soldiers
Child soldiering can be a manifestation of human trafficking where 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 also sexually exploited by armed groups.
Trafficking in persons, or human trafficking, includes both sex trafficking and the act of recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, or maintaining a person for compelled labor 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, fraud, or coercion. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-386), as amended (TVPA), 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, undocumented migrants, and documented guestworkers alike. No socioeconomic group is immune. Migrants and refugees, Native Americans, runaway youth, those who are homeless, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals are particularly vulnerable. Victims come from a variety of backgrounds, but what many of them have in common are aspirations for a better life without options to fulfill them.
That’s where the traffickers come in. Exploiting these aspirations, traffickers appear to offer hope—in the form of love, a sense of belonging, a good job, a brighter future, or a safe home. They prey on victims’ hopes and exploit their trust, coercing them into using themselves as collateral for a chance to pursue their dreams.
In the United States, 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, bring together federal departments and agencies to ensure a whole-of-government approach that addresses all aspects of human trafficking. This multidisciplinary approach includes the vigorous enforcement of criminal and labor law, development of victim-centered 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 advance and 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, law enforcement, academia, communities of faith, civil society, and courageous survivors to join forces in strengthening our nation’s collective efforts to combat human trafficking. Together, we have made significant progress in response to President Obama’s March 2012 call to strengthen federal anti-trafficking efforts and his September 2012 speech announcing significant advances in the fight against human trafficking. In implementing this ambitious agenda, the Obama Administration has focused on four priority areas outlined at the May 2013 PITF meeting: victim services, rule of law, procurement and supply chains, and public awareness and outreach. Agencies reported progress on each of these priorities at the April 8, 2014 PITF meeting, chaired by Secretary Kerry, who emphasized how the U.S. government must confront the culture of impunity that facilitates and helps perpetuate human trafficking.
The pages that follow reflect the work these agencies and their partners have accomplished from March 2014 through February 2015, both individually and through the five SPOG Committees, as well as their commitment to deliver on their promises in the coming year. As detailed on page 5, the accomplishments included innovations and unprecedented momentum in expanding partnerships in all priority areas: strengthening victim services to empower survivors to restore their lives; enhancing criminal justice capacity to hold traffickers accountable; advancing policies to prevent trafficking in federal contracts and global supply chains; and building upon public awareness and outreach programs to mobilize additional community partners in the fight against human trafficking.
The diverse achievements ranged from advancing the first-ever Partnership for Freedom competition—a public-private partnership announced by President Obama to spur innovative solutions to problems caused by modern slavery—to gathering data on the sectors at greatest risk of trafficking-related activities in federal contracts and global supply chains. PITF agencies are leveraging resources more effectively and developing robust whole-of-agency responses to combat trafficking in supply chains at home and abroad.
Federal agencies also worked to expand partnerships with civil society and the private sector 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. At the January 2015 White House Forum on Combating Human Trafficking in Supply Chains, leaders from the private sector, civil society, and the federal government engaged in a robust dialogue on strategies to prevent and eliminate trafficking-related activities in federal contracting and in private sector supply chains. This forum provided a platform for federal agencies and their partners as they took up President Obama’s call at the 2015 U.S.-India Business Council Summit to “keep striving to protect the rights of our workers; to make sure that our supply chains are sourced responsibly.” Notably, Secretary of State John Kerry presented the 2015 Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for pioneering a zero-tolerance policy that puts workers and social responsibility at the center, and has effectively eradicated human trafficking from the farms that participate in its Fair Food Program.
Partnerships have proven just as critical to formulating effective law enforcement strategies and strengthening victim service programs. For example, DOJ, DHS, and DOL continued to collaborate through the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) Initiative to develop high-impact, victim-centered human trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and DOJ, DHS, and HHS continued to collaborate to implement the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services to Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States. Agencies also have taken steps to train employees whose work intersects with vulnerable populations, including USDA, which launched a human trafficking training course for employees to increase awareness of human trafficking related to the farm and food industries. International collaboration continued to expand through the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Human Trafficking Enforcement Initiative among DOJ, DHS, and Mexican law enforcement counterparts, and through the DOS-led Law Enforcement Working Groups Initiative, where Washington-based interagency experts have trained approximately 2,000 U.S. government employees at 10 diplomatic posts to increase information-sharing related to trafficking between the United States and host countries.
The Task Force has drawn strength and direction from these partnerships, which have brought together procurement officers and CEOs, embassy officials and labor inspectors, law enforcement and victim advocates, all in the service of freedom. Such effective collaboration has helped to support the United States’ efforts to advance government priorities and combat modern slavery both domestically and globally.
This compilation of the Obama Administration’s accomplishments in combating human trafficking represents merely a snapshot, as of February 2015, 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.
What follows are selected highlights and individual agency accomplishments as they relate to U.S. government priorities organized by 10 strategic objectives:
• DOJ, DHS, and DOL continued to collaborate through the ACTeams to develop high-impact human trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and assessed the results of Phase I of the Initiative. Based on these results, which reflected a 119 percent increase in cases filed and a 114 percent increase in defendants charged in Phase I ACTeam Districts, the ACTeam partners agreed to launch Phase II.
• DOL participated in 14 DOJ-funded task forces that are operating in nine states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as in 35 non-DOJ funded task forces in various states. DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) participated in 91 task forces across the country.
• DHS and DOJ continued, with Mexican law enforcement, the U.S.-Mexico Human Trafficking Bilateral Enforcement Initiative to enhance investigations and prosecutions of trafficking networks operating across the border, assist victims, and recover victims’ children from the control of trafficking networks. The Initiative has resulted in successful prosecutions in both countries, including U.S. federal prosecutions of more than 50 defendants in multiple cases in New York, Georgia, Florida and Texas since 2009, and numerous Mexican federal and state prosecutions of associated traffickers.
• In FY 2014, DOJ continued to return record prosecution results, securing convictions against 184 traffickers. Of these convictions, 157 involved predominantly sex trafficking and 27 involved predominantly labor trafficking, although several involved both. These totals do not include child sex trafficking cases brought under non-trafficking statutes.
• In FY 2014, DHS/ICE/HSI identified more than 440 trafficking victims and opened approximately 1,000 cases—many with the help of the public through tips about suspected human trafficking—resulting in 828 convictions in federal cases with a nexus to trafficking.
• DHS/ICE arrested 29 people in 13 cities and eight states in a sweeping operation dubbed “Operation Safe Haven,” targeting a network of illegal brothels. ICE identified 15 potential sex trafficking victims.
• DOJ’s FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Section opened 501 new child sex trafficking investigations, resulting in the conviction of 351 perpetrators. Fifteen individuals have been sentenced to life in prison as a result of cases opened pursuant to the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative.
• FBI’s Civil Rights Unit Human Trafficking Program partnered with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in every state. This collaborative effort resulted in 296 new sex and labor trafficking investigations, 473 arrests, and 66 convictions.
• In Honduras, a DOS-funded DOJ project advised and collaborated with the Honduran Attorney General’s Office, U.S. embassy vetted units, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida to dismantle an international human trafficking ring, representing the first such success of the Honduran Attorney General’s Office.
• DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) partnered with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop “Memex,” an anti-trafficking technology program that uses web data to uncover trafficking rings and identify victims, which has assisted prosecutors in achieving new indictments and convictions.
• DOD partnered with the FBI and the Honolulu Police Department to investigate a Navy officer for his involvement in sex trafficking, and with DHS ICE/HSI to convict another Navy officer, sentencing him to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for using a minor for commercial sex acts involving six other active-duty Navy members.
• DOS and DHS worked closely with foreign law enforcement to arrest and support the conviction of a Jamaican national on 21 counts of trafficking-related offenses, in the first case where the recently enacted extraterritorial jurisdiction provision was used to charge sex trafficking in another country.
• DOJ, HHS, and DHS, co-chairs of the SPOG Victim Services Committee, in partnership with PITF agencies, 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 first Status Report in July 2015.
• HHS initiated a two-year project to create and validate a screening tool to identify trafficking victims in youth-serving settings, including the child welfare system and runaway and homeless youth programs.
• In FY 2014, HHS awarded $7.4 million to provide comprehensive case management to foreign victims and potential victims of trafficking seeking HHS certification, and served 1,137 foreign national clients. HHS issued 530 Certification Letters to foreign national adults and 219 Eligibility Letters to foreign national children.
• In FY 2014, HHS awarded $1,435,000 to increase the availability of comprehensive case management and victim services to domestic human trafficking survivors, as well as to decrease vulnerability to sex and labor trafficking among at-risk populations.
• DOJ awarded grants totaling $10.9 million to 28 victim service organizations, more than half of which provided a comprehensive array of services for victims of all forms of human trafficking and 12 of which provided specialized services for victims.
• DHS’s victim assistance specialists, who are responsible for addressing victims’ needs in ICE/HSI field offices throughout the nation, assisted more than 500 trafficking victims.
• For the sixth year, 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.
• DHS released an updated version of the U and T Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide, which includes in-depth information regarding U visa status for victims of crime, and T visa status for victims of human trafficking.
• DHS’s Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CISOMB) provided individual case assistance to 175 immigrant victims with pending USCIS applications for U or T visa status to resolve delays or address concerns with adjudications. CISOMB also assisted nine recipients of U or T visa status with problems related to applications to adjust to permanent resident status.
• The FBI developed Bureau-wide victim assistance guidance for domestic minor sex trafficking cases to ensure timely victim identification, notification, and support.
• The FBI partnered with state and local law enforcement and victim service providers to proactively identify and recover sex trafficking victims during the Super Bowl. This partnership resulted in the recovery of 247 victims and arrest of 428 individuals complicit in trafficking victims and soliciting commercial sex acts from adult and juvenile victims.
• DOL continued to assist human trafficking victims to receive restitution for their labor by computing back wages and calculating more than one million dollars in restitution for 72 employees in two cases alone.
• DOL’s network of more than 2,400 American Job Centers and its Job Corps Program offer employment and training services to eligible adults and youth including trafficking victims.
• In FY 2015, DOL announced a new policy to complete law enforcement certifications for T visa applicants and expand the qualifying criminal activities for which it will certify U visas to include extortion, fraud in foreign labor recruitment, and forced labor.
• DOS funded the Return, Reintegration, and Family Reunification Program for Victims of Trafficking, which helped 227 eligible family members join trafficking victims with T visa status in the United States and assisted three survivors to return home voluntarily.
• DOS supported projects in India, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kazakhstan, resulting in the increased identification of victims and capacity for victim assistance.
• EEOC continued to litigate several large civil cases in district courts involving labor trafficking victims.
• ED completed a guide to help schools identify potential victims, protect students, and work with partners in their efforts to prosecute traffickers. This guide was released to the public in January 2015 coinciding with National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
• USAID supported anti-trafficking efforts, including through capacity building of NGOs and government stakeholders, comprehensive human trafficking victim assistance, and reintegration services in Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Ukraine, Nigeria, Central Asia, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan.
• DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs filled 10 of 14 victim assistance program positions and these individuals provided training to law enforcement and the community, as well as direct services to victims, including victims of human trafficking.
• DOI drafted a comprehensive victim assistance policy that recommends a victim-centered approach for identifying victims and providing services to survivors of human trafficking.
• DHS collaborated with DOJ, FBI, and DOL to adapt the multi-disciplinary advanced training program for state and local task forces on how to properly conduct trafficking investigations and offer services from a victim-centered approach.
• USAID, DHS, HHS, DOL, DOJ, DOD, FBI, EEOC, and DOS prioritized outreach and training to combat human trafficking by participating in numerous trainings, symposiums, and seminars, domestically and internationally, including training for foreign and domestic law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and NGOs to enhance prosecution, protection, and prevention efforts, as well as for business leaders, educators, faith leaders, and students.
• USDA launched a human trafficking training course on the USDA learning management system to increase awareness of human trafficking related to the farm and food industries.
• DOI established an internal website for national park staff dedicated to human trafficking, including links to training and victim service resources to raise awareness.
• ED developed a webinar, hosted a live chat, and launched an online workspace focused on integrating human trafficking prevention and protection into school emergency operations planning.
• ED staff provided training on human trafficking to the United Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of School Social Workers, and other school and student-serving organizations.
• DOJ revised the Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide, which offers Task Forces and allied professionals practical information on the creation and operation of anti-trafficking task forces, identifying and assisting victims, and investigating and prosecuting cases.
• The FBI produced Sex Trafficking of Juveniles – An Investigative Guide for Law Enforcement, a comprehensive guide with research-based investigative strategies, and produced, in collaboration with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, a training toolkit for frontline officers on child sex trafficking.
• DHS funded the production of nine new training videos created with interagency input, and two web-based training courses related to training civil society, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, and government officials to identify signs and indicators of human trafficking.
• During FY 2015, DHS CISOMB engaged community-based organizations, immigrant service providers, and law enforcement agencies through 13 in-person convenings in eight different states and online on immigration protections for victims of trafficking and other crimes, focusing on the T and U visa programs.
• HHS piloted the SOAR Health and Wellness anti-trafficking training for medical and health care providers at five sites, and evaluated the trainings to inform expansion of the program.
• DOS, through global short-term training and technical assistance, supported anti-trafficking training on victim identification and referral in Brazil, Iraq, and Turkmenistan, and criminal justice training for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement in 10 countries.
• DOT and DHS continued to work with five airlines in the Blue Lightning Initiative, which includes a module for training airline personnel to safely and anonymously identify suspected human trafficking incidents and alert federal law enforcement authorities in real time.
• DOT provided anti-trafficking training for new employees; contract and acquisition specialists; and federal, state, and local bus and truck inspectors, and conducted anti-trafficking outreach during key stakeholder conferences and engagements.
• DOT partnered with DHS to create a human trafficking awareness training tailored for the motor coach industry.
• USAID provided training and technical assistance in Guatemala, Bangladesh, Moldova, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to increase government capacity to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes and enhance victim protection.
• EEOC continued training staff and representatives of state and local fair employment practice agencies on identifying and developing human trafficking cases.
• DOD released anti-trafficking training for contracting and acquisition professionals that all military and civilian personnel in the acquisition field are required to take annually, and developed a Standard Curriculum toolkit for components that develop their own training.
• In June 2014, DOS released the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, describing the anti-trafficking efforts of and ranking 188 countries and territories, including the United States, and Secretary Kerry honored 10 heroes for their dedication to combating trafficking. The theme of the 2014 Report focused on the journey from victim to survivor.
• DOS maintained its dialogue with foreign embassy Deputy Chiefs of Mission and continued to brief them on the requirements governing the hiring of private domestic workers by mission employees, emphasizing the responsibility of embassy leadership for their welfare and underscoring the importance of mission staff fulfilling their contractual obligations.
• DOS represented the United States at various multilateral meetings and negotiated human rights resolutions to encourage governments to protect victims, as well as highlight trends and U.S. practices, including measures to prevent trafficking in government procurement.
• DOS contributed substantially to updating the Organization of American States and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) anti-trafficking action plans and to the new protocol and recommendation to the ILO Forced Labor Convention.
• Through its International Visitor Leadership Program, DOS conducted exchange programs with 269 foreign leaders with responsibilities related to human trafficking, including representatives from government and civil society organizations.
• DOS significantly increased engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) contributing to progress among member states in bringing their legal anti-trafficking frameworks into compliance with global norms.
• Through USAID’s support, the ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security began a multi-year program to assist ASEAN and its member states to pursue a rights-based approach to the care for survivors of human trafficking that involves protection, shelter, counseling, healthcare, legal support, and administrative support for repatriation when needed.
• DOS represented the United States at several OSCE meetings to advance policies on victim protection and government procurement and supply chains, and was a key representative at workshops on domestic servitude, supporting the development of a handbook on the prevention of domestic servitude in diplomatic households that helped establish international norms on the treatment of domestic workers.
• DOL continued to implement its 11 consular partnerships—five of which were renewed in November—to ensure that foreign workers in the United States are informed of their labor rights, conducting coordinated outreach events year-round.
• DHS delivered human trafficking capacity building seminars to 1,454 foreign law enforcement officers in 15 different countries.
• DHS presented on the Blue Campaign initiative to senior consul officials representing 34 nations at the Consular Corps College, and discussed the importance of ensuring victims receive timely services and access to local resources.
• DHS, DOJ, and DOS hosted a human trafficking seminar in Mexico for approximately 100 participants from the State Attorney General’s Offices, Federal Police, and the National Immigration Institute to increase U.S.-Mexican anti-trafficking collaboration.
• USAID helped Burmese stakeholders strengthen anti-trafficking efforts in support of the U.S.-Burma Joint Plan on Trafficking in Persons; sponsored a national anti-trafficking conference in Azerbaijan for civil society and government representatives; and established public-private partnerships in Bangladesh to raise awareness about trafficking.
• USAID supported the Government of Colombia to facilitate the reintegration of children abducted by illegal armed groups and to prevent the future recruitment of 12,000 children.
• USAID supported the Guatemalan Secretariat against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Trafficking in Persons to monitor and coordinate implementation of the anti-trafficking law.
• DOD engaged the Government of the United Kingdom to assist them in applying Memex technological tools to combat human trafficking.
• DOD continued to work with foreign partner military personnel, including those that deploy to United Nations peacekeeping operations, to offer training in anti-trafficking best practices.
• The White House hosted a forum in January 2015 on combating human trafficking in supply chains that brought together leaders from the private sector, NGOs, and the federal government to discuss prevention of human trafficking in federal contracts and private-sector supply chains.
• The Partnership for Freedom, a public-private partnership with DOJ, HHS, HUD, and the NGO Humanity United, announced finalists and awardees for the first innovation competition focused on improving the infrastructure of support for trafficking survivors.
• USAID continued its ASEAN-endorsed MTV EXIT partnership to support awareness campaigns across Asia. USAID has leveraged its $12 million investment in MTV EXIT to raise more than $100 million in additional funds from private organizations, other governments such as Australia, and international organizations to produce documentary films aired in 22 languages in more than 20 countries.
• ED and DHS began to co-brand materials, including Human Trafficking 101 for School Administrators and Staff, and co-hosted a stakeholder event focused on engaging schools.
• ED and HHS, in collaboration with President Lincoln’s Cottage, formed a public-private partnership to launch a peer-to-peer social media competition to raise awareness about human trafficking among high school students.
• DOT led efforts to expand the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking partnership, encouraging more industry members to join, train their employees about human trafficking, increase anti-trafficking public awareness activities, and maximize the transportation industry’s collective impact in combating human trafficking.
• The DHS Blue Campaign entered into formal partnerships with the National League of Cities; Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families; the City of Phoenix; Mississippi Office of Homeland Security; and TravelCenters of America to offer training and raise public consciousness about human trafficking.
• DHS hosted a human trafficking forum bringing together Special Agents and Victim Assistance Specialists from all 26 field offices, as well as various internal and external stakeholders, such as DOJ, DOL, DOS, and anti-trafficking NGOs.
• DOS supported a project to help youth survivors of trafficking in Ethiopia, India, Mexico, and Vietnam gain economic independence through a six-month vocational and life skills training program in partnership with the hotel service industry.
• In April 2014, a DOJ task force on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence heard testimony on the impact of child sex trafficking in tribal communities.
• EEOC partnered with several community-based organizations whose missions include combating human trafficking by raising awareness, educating vulnerable communities, and reaching victims; and also trained staff and representatives of state and local fair employment practice agencies on identifying and developing human trafficking cases.
• DOT Secretary Foxx issued a video statement on human trafficking on the DOT website and encouraged stakeholder involvement in combating human trafficking.
• DOD U.S. Southern Command regularly includes an anti-trafficking NGO in human rights-focused meetings with U.S. Southern Command leadership.
• U.S. military officials in the U.S. Pacific Command increased coordination and information-sharing on trafficking issues with NGOs, local government officials, and local police officers working in Busan, Osan, and Pyeongtaek.
• USAID and DOS conducted an annual anti-trafficking donor coordination meeting in Kazakhstan to strengthen collaboration and streamline joint efforts, resulting in DOS and the OSCE Center in Astana organizing eight training sessions for 400 judges on victim support and assistance during the judicial process.
• The SPOG Grantmaking Committee, co-chaired by DOS, DOL, and USAID, continued to collaborate on matters relating to international and domestic grants and funding priorities to inform funding decisions and to ensure programs are strategic and not duplicative.
• HHS funded the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), a dedicated, national, toll-free, confidential hotline (1-888-373-7888) that provides human trafficking victims and survivors with access to critical support and services to get help and stay safe, and equips the anti-trafficking community with the tools to effectively combat all forms of human trafficking. In FY 2014, the NHTRC received 34,361 calls with reports of 5,152 unique cases of potential trafficking. The NHTRC also received a 29 percent increase in the number of calls directly from victims compared to the prior year.
• HHS awarded $2.55 million under the Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Regional Program to 18 organizations to lead or participate in an anti-trafficking coalition, to conduct public awareness activities, and to provide training and technical assistance on human trafficking issues to local organizations. In FY 2014, grantees trained first responders and professionals and identified 833 potential victims of trafficking.
• HHS awarded $1.435 million to serve U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident trafficking victims in three demonstration sites and awarded $355,000 to evaluate those grants. HHS also awarded $2.25 million to nine organizations to strengthen the child welfare system response, and opened new funding opportunities to address human trafficking in Native American communities.
• DOJ granted awards to four youth serving agencies to develop or enhance their mentoring capacity, facilitate outreach efforts, and increase the availability of direct services for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic sex trafficking.
• Since 2012, DOL has funded a four-year, $6 million project in Brazil and Peru to strengthen efforts to combat forced labor and support a trilateral partnership involving the governments of the United States, Brazil, and Peru.
• In December 2014, DOL began funding a $2 million, 18-month pilot program to support a reduction in child labor and forced labor in Uzbekistan.
• In the Democratic Republic of Congo, USAID supported the rehabilitation and reintegration of children released from armed forces and groups. USAID-funded centers assisted 2,172 children, including 294 girls, released from armed groups during FY 2014. A total of 1,844 children have been reunited with their families since 2011.
• USAID Belarus established a National Task Force to promote the National Referral Mechanism and to facilitate the protection of trafficking victims, facilitating further transfer of responsibilities from international to domestic stakeholders.
• USAID supported government and civil society efforts to address human trafficking in Turkmenistan through prevention, prosecution, and protection activities, including financial support for a shelter for female trafficking victims.
• DOS awarded approximately $18 million to fund 41 new grants and cooperative agreements in support of prevention, prosecution, and protection projects worldwide that address both sex and labor trafficking. At the start of FY 2015, DOS had 98 open and active targeted anti-trafficking projects in 71 countries, totaling more than $59 million.
• DOS worked with governments to support the passage and implementation of victim-centered anti-trafficking laws in Haiti, the Seychelles, and Sudan, and funded a regional project in Southern Africa to strengthen anti-trafficking legal frameworks in Angola, Botswana, and the Seychelles.
• DOS funded awareness-raising activities in the Philippines among populations vulnerable to human trafficking in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
• DOS supported a project in Haiti that developed a model for source community resistance to child domestic servitude over a three-year period, successfully diminishing social acceptance of the practice and reducing the number of children entering domestic servitude.
• The SPOG Procurement and Supply Chain Committee, co-chaired by OMB, DOS, and DOL, gathered 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.
• USAID launched a new approach to counter human trafficking in supply chains called “Supply Unchained.” This initiative seeks to leverage innovation, technology and partnerships to collect more real-time and actionable data that can be used by business and other stakeholders to identify and counter human trafficking risks in business operations and supply chains, as well as prevent new cases.
• DOD developed a tool to observe U.S. government contractors’ adherence to a trafficking in persons compliance plan required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The tool is centered on a well-developed list of items that can help identify trafficking indicators leading to the discovery of violations during inspections.
• Several DOD Commands engaged in training exercises designed to enhance the military’s response to human trafficking at the state, regional, and federal levels, as well as in relation to peacekeeping missions.
• HHS worked with states and tribes to begin implementing the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014, which requires child welfare agencies to implement policies regarding appropriate services for children and youth at risk of sex trafficking.
• HHS screened nearly 58,000 unaccompanied children (UACs) in FY 2014 for human trafficking, provided placement services to UACs subjected to trafficking, and conducted several trainings on responding to foreign child trafficking victims for UAC state programs.
• HHS awarded approximately $325,000 to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center to address the needs of victims and survivors of human trafficking. HHS also awarded $125,000 in supplemental grants to two Family Violence Prevention and Service Act culturally-specific special issue resource centers, the Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence and Casa de Esperanza, to build the capacity of domestic violence programs to serve trafficking victims.
• DHS established human trafficking points of contact in all asylum offices, as well as referral and information-sharing mechanisms on human trafficking-related cases with local ICE Special Agents in Charge and Victim Assistance Coordinators.
• DHS issued agency-wide guidance on implementation of the Violence Against Women Act’s confidentiality protections, which affect trafficking victims applying for T visas.
• The FBI expanded its efforts to integrate victim specialists and appropriate governmental and social service organizations into operations to improve victim services and gain their participation in the available programs, and also integrated survivors into training for Child Exploitation Task Force members.
• DOS provided more than one million copies of the “Know Your Rights” (or “Wilberforce”) pamphlet in 30 languages to certain visa applicants coming to the United States to work or study as mandated by the TVPRA 2008. In addition, a video summarizing the pamphlet and translated into 12 languages is viewed by millions of visa applicants in consular waiting rooms each year.
• A DOS project in Bangladesh integrated a human trafficking prevention awareness course into the government’s orientation program for migrant workers and reached up to 1,000 workers a month heading to the Middle East and East Asia.
• DOL and DOJ partnered to provide training to the nation’s State and Regional Monitor Advocates on trafficking as it relates to farmworkers and how to refer trafficking-related complaints to the appropriate enforcement agencies.
• The SPOG Public Awareness and Outreach Committee, co-chaired by DOS, HHS, and DHS, developed common messaging to the public, including through a social media toolkit for federal agencies to amplify National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month; engaged with stakeholders; and began developing outreach to vulnerable populations.
• DOT developed public awareness materials tailored to the transportation industry.
• DHS developed new materials, including for first responders, to raise awareness and highlight resources available to trafficking victims. DHS disseminated these materials across the United States, including in 14 airports and 300 truck stops; and DOS distributed them to foreign embassies in the United States.
• DHS, with DOL support, held a biannual stakeholder engagement event on labor trafficking for federal agencies, NGOs, and private industry partners.
• A DHS English and Spanish language TV public service announcement (PSA), “Out of the Shadows,” aired 21,732 times and the radio version of the PSA aired 1,348 times.
• DOJ launched a mobile-friendly human trafficking website that contains federal government resources, research, publications, and products; local and national direct assistance information; and related funding opportunities, and has tailored sections for victims and survivors, service providers, law enforcement, and allied professionals.
• DOJ’s Enhanced Collaborative Model anti-trafficking task forces conducted more than 400 public awareness events with medical professionals, educators, victim-focused community organizations, and other interested groups.
• ED published information in ED’s Youth Voices newsletter and published the blog, “Putting an End to Human Trafficking,” on its website. As part of its “Education Matters” monthly bulletin series, ED’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships released a resource to help community-based organizations recognize trafficking and effectively partner with school districts to increase awareness and develop policies and protocols that protect victims.
• In FY 2014, HHS distributed approximately 800,000 public awareness materials publicizing the Rescue & Restore campaign, increased awareness through blogs and social media, established a new ACF End Trafficking website, and hosted 20 community listening sessions with tribal leaders and community-based organizations in 10 regions.
• In FY 2014, the HHS-funded NHTRC created one online training course and sent 11 newsletters on trafficking issues to its listserv of nearly 15,400 members.
• DOL officials engaged in events to promote awareness of labor trafficking and its connection to labor exploitation, such as an interview for the PBS series, “Great Decisions in Foreign Policy,” to discuss DOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs’ work on forced labor and human trafficking.
• DOS supported the creation of the Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes Global Network to connect the heroes, publicize their work, and inspire global activism.
• EEOC partnered with community-based organizations devoted to anti-trafficking work and conducted approximately 244 anti-trafficking outreach events, reaching more than 12,590 attendees during the reporting period.
• EEOC continued its efforts to increase public awareness about human trafficking and the linkages to equal employment opportunity law by providing resources on its website for human trafficking victims.
• As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, DOD published a series of articles about its efforts to combat human trafficking and publicized these materials on Facebook, Twitter, and other public-facing sites.
• DOD hosted an internal anti-trafficking awareness event, in conjunction with National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and the Defense Health Agency distributed literature.
• DOD displayed anti-trafficking awareness posters at military installations in the United States and overseas with information on the NHTRC and about reporting human trafficking-related violations to the DOD Inspector General.
• The SPOG Research and Data Committee, co-chaired by DOS and DOJ, convened leading academics, practitioners, and researchers throughout the year to brief Committee members on their latest research findings, and participated in a DOJ-hosted two-day workshop of leading experts in research and evaluation on trafficking in persons from around the world to discuss data gaps and help guide the future direction of research.
• DOL released updates to three reports on child and forced labor: 1) the 2013 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor; 2) the sixth edition of the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor; and 3) a proposed update to the Executive Order 13126 List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor.
• EEOC continued to track training and outreach involving human trafficking issues through its charge data system.
• DHS’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) took steps to add “human trafficking” as an incident type in the web-based Emergency Operations Center database to enhance TSA’s understanding of the crime.
• DHS began developing a Human Trafficking Toolkit Mobile Application to give law enforcement and other users easy access to key points of contact, relevant laws, and training opportunities.
• DHS Coast Guard acquired a new records management system to capture data regarding reports/allegations of commercial sex acts and involuntary servitude that will enable research, analysis, and understanding of those crimes.
• HHS hosted a national stakeholder meeting with a diverse group of survivors, advocates, service providers, and researchers to discuss new data collection strategies, including a one-day human trafficking victim services count.
• USAID supported an assessment of human trafficking in artisanal mining towns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which highlighted the need for community-based programming, improved regulations, and conflict-free mine certification standards.
• USAID supported criminological research on trafficking in persons to determine the prevalence of sex trafficking, forced labor, child begging, and other forms of trafficking present in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
• DOS supported an online Human Trafficking Case Law Database, including 1,163 cases from 89 jurisdictions, that increases the visibility of successful prosecutions, provides criminal justice practitioners with tools to enforce existing laws, and promotes global awareness about human trafficking.
• DOS funded an assessment of services provided to victims of trafficking in Kazakhstan to identify the type and quality of services provided, as well as the satisfaction level of those receiving them.
• DOJ funded the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council of the National Academies to release three resource guides to the report, Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States.
• The Intelligence Community, PITF agencies, and the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center (HSTC) continue to build processes to improve, review, and share intelligence reporting with a focus on preventing human trafficking, protecting victims, and advancing prosecutions.
• DARPA’s Memex program generated new technology to create domain specific index and search. The first domain to which Memex has been applied is the anti-trafficking domain, resulting thus far in significant advancement in the ability of law enforcement, prosecution teams, and victim outreach NGOs to leverage advanced technology to further their work.
• Working closely with Law Enforcement Working Groups at nine overseas posts, DOS led an initiative with other Washington-based experts to train approximately 2,000 U.S. government employees to better understand the issue of human trafficking and increase information-sharing related to trafficking between the United States and host countries.
• DHS established and maintained two databases to track published incidents of domestic and international trafficking, including the date and place of the event, nationality of victims, information regarding the perpetrators of each incident, and outcome of the incidents.
• DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism modeled probable pathways for human trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border.
• HSTC completed a preliminary statistical report for internal use that documents 10 years of federal human trafficking data, illustrates the potential benefits and challenges of analyzing such data, and makes recommendations to strengthen data quality and facilitate interagency analysis in support of human trafficking investigations and other U.S. government anti-trafficking activities.