OverviewHuman trafficking is reputed to be one of the most profitable endeavors of organized crime and the fastest growing; an endeavor which enslaves thousands of people within our borders each year and perhaps millions outside those borders. It is a crime of increasing proportions, fully repugnant to American beliefs; a crime that preys on the world's most vulnerable people.The crime of human trafficking is slavery. It is the sexual exploitation of children for commercial purposes; it is compelling people to labor or provide services through force, fraud, or coercion, whether citizens, legal residents, or persons having entered the country illegally. It is also taking from a person his or her travel documents (passports and or visas, whether authentic or forged) to compel that person's labor or services.The United States is generally a destination for trafficking victims who are recruited in their home countries and transported through other countries. But movement is not required for human trafficking to occur. Many U.S. citizens are trafficked, usually run-away teenage girls, who are preyed upon by pimps and trafficked for prostitution. The Department of Justice has included investigating human trafficking among its top priorities.BJA Anti-Human Trafficking EffortsIn Summer 2004 following the First National Human Trafficking Conference, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) began building on Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) efforts to assist victims of trafficking in persons. While the TVPA provides for services to foreign victims of trafficking and prosecution of human trafficking at the federal level, it is often local law enforcement personnel who initially encounter victims of trafficking in the course of their daily operations. Local law enforcement agencies may often uncover trafficking situations when making routine service calls for aggravated assault, domestic disturbance, battery, and other crimes. Therefore, local-level policing that is informed about victim identification and the available victim services, when combined with federal investigative capacity and coordinated with the U.S. Attorney's Office, presents a formidable force for the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking.To combat human trafficking, BJA's efforts have been two-pronged: 1) to develop training for law enforcement and communities to identify trafficking in persons and rescue victims by working with federal law enforcement and victims service providers; and 2) to support and fund task forces (in coordination with OVC and HHS) based on a sound strategy of collaboration among state and local enforcement, trafficking victim services providers, federal law enforcement, and U.S. Attorneys Offices.Federal LegislationCongress has passed and Presidents have signed into law, "The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000" (P.L. 106-386), which was reauthorized in 2003, 2005, and 2008 by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2003 (P.L. 108-193), the TVPRA of 2005 (P.L. 109-164), and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-457). The TVPA and its reauthorizations seek to combat human trafficking by punishing traffickers, protecting victims, and mobilizing U.S. government agencies to wage a global anti-trafficking campaign. These Acts contain significant mandates for the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, Labor, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services and the U.S. Agency for International Development.The TVPA includes two forms of severe trafficking: sex trafficking and labor trafficking. TVPA defines "severe forms of trafficking" as:
State LegislationSince 2002, when the State of Washington enacted the first state human trafficking criminal statute, more than three-fourths of the states have passed legislation making human trafficking a felony offense. In addition, when the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 becomes effective later in 2009, Human Trafficking will be classified as a Part I Crime in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports. Tracking human trafficking as a Part I Crime reflects the growth throughout the U.S. of this offense.
NEW! The Faces of Human TraffickingView the newly released public service announcement.
Guide AvailableThe Office for Victims of Crime and BJA have released an Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Strategy and Operations e-Guide. The e-guide provides resources and guidance to support effective Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force operations, including task force formulation and structuring, and strategies and lessons learned from the anti-trafficking field. It also provides a centralized link to trainings and other tools and resources.AccomplishmentsSince 2004, BJA has funded a total of 42 Anti-Human Trafficking Task Forces. Those task forces have identified 3,336 persons as potential victims of human trafficking and had requested either continued presence or endorsed T-visa applications for 397 of those potential victims. The task forces have also trained 85,685 law enforcement officers and others in identifying the signs of human trafficking and its victims. Currently, BJA, in coordination with OVC, is funding 13 Anti-Human Trafficking Task Forces. Report TraffickingSuspected incidents of trafficking can be reported to the Department of Justice Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line at: 1-888-428-7581 or by contacting your local FBI office.In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services maintains, through the Polaris Project, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), which operates 24-hours, 7-days-a-week. Please call 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733).
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BJA is working with a variety of organizations to provide technical assistance and training to improve the abilities of task forces to: 1) identify and rescue victims; 2) proactively investigate trafficking and successfully prosecute traffickers; and 3) to raise the awareness of communities to the menace of trafficking and the plight of its victims.Presently BJA provides immersion training to task forces conducted by leadership task forces. Leadership task forces are Clearwater, Florida; Harris County, Texas; and Seattle, Washington. These task forces have developed effective proactive investigation strategies and have agreed to share their expertise with other task forces to collectively improve identification and rescue of victims of human trafficking. In addition, a new Advanced Anti-Human Trafficking Training course is under development.The Institute for Intergovernmental Research developed a train-the-trainer curriculum for law enforcement about identifying and rescuing victims of human trafficking, and is now taught by the Upper Midwestern Community Policing Institute.
Directory of Training and Technical Assistance Resources for Anti-Human Trafficking Task Forces and Service Providers
Human Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative
U.S. Department of State: Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center
U.S. Department of State: Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Human Trafficking
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Human Trafficking
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Campaign to Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking
National Institute of Justice (NIJ): Human Trafficking
More BJA Publications
See More FAQs
FY 2013 Grant Awards for the Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking.
What Law Enforcement Can Do About Human Trafficking
Read the latest edition of the National White Collar Crime Center's (NW3C) "The Briefing" to learn what law enforcement can do about human trafficking, what the public can do, and what courses available for further information.
OVC and BJA Release Human Trafficking TTA Resources Directory
BJA and OVC have launched the Directory of Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Resources for Anti-Human Trafficking Task Forces and Service Providers. This directory includes TTA opportunities available on topics ranging from building strong cases for prosecution to providing comprehensive victim services.
NIJ Human Trafficking Studies Now Available
The National Institute of Justice recently released two studies that explore ways to prevent human trafficking and prosecute trafficking cases. Read A National Overview of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Efforts and Identifying Challenges to Improve the Investigation and Prosecution of State and Local Human Trafficking Cases.
Register for Neighborhood Watch/Human Trafficking Webinar
Register now for the USAonWatch webinar: "What do Property Managers and Watch groups have to do with Human Trafficking?" The webinar is May 14, 2013 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. eastern time.
Combating Human Trafficking Solicitation Released
BJA and the Office for Victims of Crime have released the FY 2013 Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking solicitation. Applications are due March 14, 2013.
National Training and Technical Assistance: Anti-Human Trafficking Training for Law Enforcement and State Prosecutors Program FY 2014 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 05/13/2014, 11:59 PMBJA is seeking a provider to deliver, nationwide, anti-human trafficking training and technical assistance (TTA) services to law enforcement agencies as well as state prosecutors. Solicitation
Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking FY 2013 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 03/14/2013, 11:59 PMBJA and the Office for Victims of Crime are seeking applicants for funding to support an enhanced anti-human trafficking law enforcement task force and victim service model designed to identify, rescue, and assist foreign and domestic, adult and minor, victims of human trafficking within the United States.Solicitation
Anti-Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance for Tribal Law Enforcement FY 2012 Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 04/10/2012, 11:59 PMBJA is seeking to develop and deliver training for federally-recognized Indian tribes with their respective law enforcement and criminal justice authorities (tribal, state, and/or federal law enforcement) that will equip them with the knowledge and ability to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking on tribal lands.Solicitation
Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking FY 2012 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 03/29/2012, 11:59 PMBJA and the Office for Victims of Crime are seeking applicants for funding to support an enhanced anti-human trafficking law enforcement task force and victim service model designed to identify, rescue, and assist foreign and domestic, adult and minor, victims of human trafficking within the United States.Solicitation
Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking FY 2010 Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 07/27/2010, 07:59 PMThrough this solicitation, BJA and OVC seek to update the DOJ multidisciplinary anti-human trafficking task force model for contemporary relevance and incorporate lessons learned into a new model: the Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking.Solicitation
Law Enforcement Task Forces and Services for Human Trafficking Victims FY 2006 Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 04/25/2006, 11:59 PMThe overall goals of this program are: 1) to continue to enhance law enforcement’s ability to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking, 2) to provide law enforcement with the resources and training to identify and rescue victims of trafficking, and 3) to ensure that comprehensive services are available wherever trafficking victims are found.Solicitation
Joint Call for FY 2005 Human Trafficking Task Force and Victim Services Concept PapersApplication Deadline: 05/12/2005, 11:59 PMThis joint call for concept papers from state and local law enforcement agencies and victim service agencies is a preliminary step to apply for federal funds to (1) form collaborative human trafficking task forces or (2) supplement current trafficking victim service provider funding in areas where a BJA-funded task force already exists.Solicitation
Law Enforcement and Service Provider Multidisciplinary Anti-Trafficking Task Forces FY 2004 Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 10/01/2004, 11:59 PMThis program will provide support for state and local law enforcement to work collaboratively with victim and social services organizations and federal agencies in the identification of human trafficking victims.Solicitation
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