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Human Trafficking Resources


The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 (2003, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2018) is the first comprehensive federal law to address trafficking in persons. The law provides a three-pronged approach that includes prevention, protection, and prosecution. 

The Act authorized the establishment of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (the Task Force) to assist in the coordination of anti-trafficking efforts.

The Act directs the Task Force to: (1) coordinate the implementation of this division; (2) measure and evaluate progress of the United States and other countries in trafficking prevention, provision of assistance to and protection of trafficking victims, and prosecution of and enforcement against traffickers; (3) assist the Secretary in the preparation of the reports under section 110; (4) expand interagency procedures to collect and organize data and to respect the confidentiality of trafficking victims; (5) engage in efforts to facilitate cooperation among countries of origin, transit, and destination; (6) examine the role of the international "sex tourism" industry in the trafficking of persons and in the sexual exploitation of women and children around the world; and (7) engage in consultation and advocacy with governmental and nongovernmental organizations, among other entities, to advance the purposes of this division.

The Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) is the U.S. Government's principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government's commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue. The 2023 TIP Report introduction describes emerging tactics being used by traffickers and provides recommendations for fighting this crime.  

Under U.S. federal law, "severe forms of trafficking in persons" includes both sex trafficking and labor trafficking:

  • Sex Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age (22 USC § 7102).
  • Labor Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery, (22 USC § 7102).

In 2019, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, a resource supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), received 48,326 contacts with nearly 11,500 cases of potential human trafficking reported. Of those contacts, 10,490 were calls from victims and survivors. There were 8,248 cases of sex trafficking, 1,236 cases of labor trafficking with minors accounting for 2,582 of all trafficking cases reported to the hotline. 

The Department of Justice's anti-trafficking efforts involve numerous components engaged in investigating and prosecuting human trafficking crimes, stabilizing and supporting trafficking victims, and expanding outreach and training. The Civil Rights Division, Criminal Division, U.S. Attorneys' Offices, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Office of Justice Programs all play important roles in the Department's broad-based anti-trafficking efforts. Many of these components contain multiple offices or sections that each work on different aspects of the fight against human trafficking. OJP's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) helps victims find local programs, helplines, compensation programs and more. OVC provides resources for U.S. citizens both inside the U.S. and abroad as well as international victims. One such resource is a searchable database that allows victims to search by type of crime, such as human trafficking.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) supports several programs to increase the availability of direct support services for children and youth who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation, facilitate outreach efforts, and develop organizations' capacities to identify and respond to this vulnerable population. OJJDP funded the Specialized Services and Mentoring for Child and Youth Victims of Sex Trafficking Initiative to increase the availability of direct support services for children and youth who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation, facilitate outreach efforts, and develop organizations' capacities to mentor this vulnerable population. With OJJDP support, the Youth Collaboratory developed a toolkit for youth service providers to build their understanding of the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, with OJJDP support, has developed the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking to help judicial officers better understand the dynamics of domestic child sex trafficking, the applicable laws and legal considerations involving trafficking victims, how to identify trafficked and at-risk children, and how to connect these youth to appropriate services.

OJJDP also supports the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), which serves as an information clearinghouse and resource for those who are searching for missing children and working to address child victimization and sexual exploitation. The center operates a 24-hour toll-free Missing Children's Hotline and a CyberTipline. In 2020, NCMEC assisted law enforcement and families with more than 29,800 cases of missing children. The AMBER Alert system is being used in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Indian country, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 31 other countries. As of December 31, 2023: 1,161 children have been recovered due to AMBER Alerts. 

Access to Victim Services

The OVC Human Trafficking site provides access to a searchable matrix of services for trafficking victims — including outreach, legal/court advocacy, specialized, mental health, emergency shelter and intensive case management — from organizations that are funded by OVC and Bureau of Justice Assistance grants. Also see the Services and Task Forces Map for easy access to this program information.

Additional Resources for Help

Report Infographic

Following are examples of websites that provide information and resources on human trafficking:

Following are training and technical assistance resources that have been created by and are available from the Office of Justice Program bureaus and offices related to human trafficking: 

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC): Human Trafficking: The OVC Human Trafficking site provides information about human trafficking as well as resources, phone numbers and task force programs by location.

Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC)
The mission of OVC TTAC is to bridge the gap among knowledge experience, and victim assistance practice to help the still-evolving victim assistance field successfully meet the challenges of an increasingly complex service delivery environment. OVC TTAC offers both online and onsite training and technical assistance opportunities.

Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Strategy and Operations e-Guide
This Office for Victims of Crime and Bureau of Justice Assistance e-Guide provides direction and promising practices on anti-human trafficking Task Force creation, structure, and enhancement and includes links to many tools, trainings, and resources for victim service providers, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors.

Bureau of Justice Assistance Training and Technical Assistance Center (BJA NTTAC)
Established in 2008, the BJA NTTAC promotes BJA's mission by facilitating the delivery of high-quality, strategically focused training and technical assistance to achieve safe communities nationwide.