Assessment of U.S. Government Activities to Combat Trafficking in Persons Released June 2009
"To some, human trafficking may seem like a problem limited to other parts of the world. In fact, it occurs in every country, including the United States, and we have a responsibility to fight it just as others do."
—Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
The U.S. Government is committed to combating modern-day slavery in all of its forms. The fight against human trafficking—which stems from the Constitution's prohibition against involuntary servitude and slavery—is one of our highest priorities for ensuring justice in the United States and around the world.
Each year, the Attorney General reports to Congress on the U.S. Government's counter-trafficking efforts. U.S. Government departments and agencies provide trafficking victims with a range of social services, both directly and through grantees; vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking cases; and provide training, outreach, and assistance to domestic and international law enforcement and non-government organizations. The United States is aided by the modern tools created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and its reauthorizations to address trafficking in persons with a renewed and intensified vigor.
FY 2009 Recommendations
To effectively rescue victims and alleviate the problem of human trafficking both in the United States and abroad, the U.S. Government recognizes that additional actions are necessary. The Attorney General’s 2009 report sets forth the following recommendations:
- Increase efficacy and coordination of all task forces and offices dealing with aspects of human trafficking to ensure victims do not go unidentified due to jurisdictional issues or "turf" considerations.
- Examine barriers related to confusion about law enforcement roles in requesting continued presence and completion of the I-914 Supplement B forms that provide local, state, or federal law enforcement endorsement of the victim for the purpose of a T-visa.
- Enhance recognition, and ability to meet the needs, of all trafficking victims, regardless of national origin, including exploration of intensive case management practices for both foreign national and U.S. citizens, as appropriate.
- Increase services to assist and restore children who have been exploited in the commercial sex industry.
- Continue to expand trafficking research and data collection, with research projects designed to assist service providers, law enforcement, and policymakers.
- Develop policies to ensure that diplomatic immunity does not result in impunity for human trafficking crimes.
- Expand public outreach campaigns that focus on human trafficking in the United States and the factors that contribute to trafficking. These campaigns could include the use of opinion leaders to deglamorize sexual exploitation and the demand for sex trafficking.
- Review "guestworker" programs for any possible vulnerabilities to trafficking, particularly given the TVPRA 2008’s new crime of fraud in foreign labor contracting.
- Continue to promote state anti-trafficking legislation and training for state and local law enforcement on human trafficking and a victim centered approach.
- Increase ability to track and enforce financial restitution to TIP victims.
- Develop awareness and training materials on human trafficking for dissemination through state and local law enforcement entities.
- Make intra-agency cooperation a priority on human trafficking cases by, for example, increasing U.S. Attorney involvement with human trafficking task forces in their districts.
- Increase efforts to exchange best practices, lessons learned, and research with UN agencies and international organizations (UN Office on Drugs and Crime, International Labour Organization, International Organization for Migration, UNICEF, etc.) that provide technical assistance to combat human trafficking.