The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) works to combat human trafficking by funding programs and projects that strengthen international efforts to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent trafficking. The TIP Office develops programming strategies to address the global trends and country-specific recommendations in the Trafficking in Persons Report. The TIP Office oversees a competitive award process to support awards that strengthen legal frameworks, build government capacity, enhance victim protection, and support other anti-trafficking efforts. Since 2001, the TIP Office has managed more than 980 awards totaling more than $320 million in foreign assistance for anti-trafficking efforts implemented by U.S. and foreign NGOs, institutions of higher education, and international organizations.
Types of TIP Office programming include:
» Program to End Modern Slavery: Multi-year program supporting transformational, innovative projects to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery among targeted populations in specific countries or regions.
» Bilateral and Regional: Multi-year projects that promote victim-centered anti-trafficking prosecution, protection, prevention, and partnership objectives in specific countries or regions.
» Child Protection Compact Partnerships: Multi-year programs supporting negotiated bilateral partnerships with other governments to bolster partner-country efforts to combat child trafficking.
» Training and Technical Assistance: Short-term, targeted activities to increase government and civil society capacities to combat trafficking, and deployable technical assistance to help government agencies address more immediate needs.
» Emergency Victim Assistance: Rapid assistance for victims of trafficking overseas on an emergency, case-by-case basis.
» Global, Research, and Innovation: Multi-year projects that address unmet research needs, explore innovative approaches, and address other anti-trafficking priorities on a global basis.
The following examples highlight grantee efforts in the past year to combat human trafficking.
ENACTING ANTI-TRAFFICKING LEGAL FRAMEWORKS
In Namibia, a grantee strengthened the coordination and communication of the National Coordinating Body (NCB), which brings together key government ministries and civil society partners to lead the national response to combat trafficking in persons. The NCB was successful in developing and adopting a National Referral Mechanism and Standard Operating Procedures on victim identification and protection that were endorsed at the cabinet level.
PROVIDING AND EXPANDING VICTIM SERVICES
In Morocco, a grantee is developing the capacity of civil society
organizations throughout the
country to identify trafficking cases and
ensure that victims of trafficking receive
adequate protection and assistance. The grantee’s efforts
also support the government’s implementation of the National Action
Plan, which includes
a National Referral Mechanism and identification procedures for trafficking victims that are outlined
in Morocco’s 2015 anti-trafficking law.
In Ukraine, a grantee is partnering with national and local government officials and NGOs in target regions to support collaborative networks for enhancing prevention and victim identification, screening, and services—particularly for children in state care vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation. Results so far include the identification of 44 child victims of trafficking, assistance to more than 200 victims of forced labor, and consultations with more than 14,000 internally displaced persons through anti-trafficking information sessions.
In Mexico, a grantee is building regional capacity to identify and protect children and young adults who are targeted by traffickers. The project has identified approximately 24 victims of trafficking, provided services to over 90 children in program residences, and conducted awareness raising workshops for more than 100 youth.
A grantee facilitated urgently needed assistance, including food, shelter, medical care, family tracing, mental health care, and reintegration assistance for a Sri Lankan woman who was deceived and subjected to sex trafficking. She has now successfully earned a National Vocational Training Qualification certification, and the grantee is working with local organizations and small businesses to find her long-term employment.
CAPACITY BUILDING OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS
In Eswatini, an international NGO partnered with an international organization and the government to provide a sequence of anti-trafficking training for government officials, law enforcement officials, judges, and magistrates. The Principal Magistrate presiding over a sex trafficking case, who attended the trainings, sentenced the accused to 18 years in prison for trafficking in persons—the first sufficiently stringent sentence issued for human trafficking in Eswatini since the anti-trafficking law was enacted in 2009.
PROVIDING TRAINING AND RAISING AWARENESS
In the Southern African Region, a grantee in collaboration with the INTERPOL regional bureau supported a two-week training to develop investigative skills for trafficking in persons cases. A cadre of expert trainers were equipped to deliver training modules from an updated anti-trafficking curriculum for law enforcement that incorporated promising practices and examples of successful investigations from the sub-region.
In Ethiopia, a grantee developed awareness raising “community conversations” to sensitize community members on the risks of irregular migration and human trafficking. The community dialogue platform has been effective in reducing the flow of irregular migration and preventing cases human trafficking among Ethiopians. It also empowered grassroots communities to identify local brokers and human traffickers and apply bottom-up pressure on the government to hold human traffickers accountable.
PROMOTING REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS
In Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, an international organization developed a Network for Knowledge Management (KM) to better link South American investigators, prosecutors, and judges who deal with human trafficking cases. The project included a moot court competition that involved national teams of prosecutors and investigators who focused on emblematic cases and identified curricula improvements for future investigation and prosecution trainings. By building on the experience and successes of the two Tier 1 country participants, the project enhanced South-South Cooperation on human trafficking while fostering national and regional champions to advance and share knowledge on more effective, timely, and victim-centered approaches to investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of trafficking cases.
In Southeast Asia, an international organization launched a formal regional coordination body, called the “SEA Forum for Fishers,” to improve coordination between governments, employers, workers, and civil society in the fight against human trafficking and labor exploitation in the region’s fishing sector. In November 2018, delegations from eight Southeast Asian countries joined representatives from employer groups, labor organizations, and nongovernmental organizations in Indonesia to establish the forum’s governance structure, voting protocols, and a list of preliminary members and technical advisors. This effort marked the first major step toward establishing a self-sufficient, regional coordination mechanism to combat trafficking in persons that is strongly supported by multiple stakeholders in the region and beyond.