In October, the White House released the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking. This Plan further details America’s commitment to fighting human trafficking as first laid out in the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The Plan was developed with support from multiple inter-agencies including the Department of State Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP). This Plan builds on the three pillars to fight trafficking: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution and adds a fourth pillar to include crosscutting approaches to enable prevention, protection, and prosecution collaboration.

Prevention: The U.S. is committed to conducting education and outreach among vulnerable populations on human trafficking, as well as reducing the demand for sex trafficking and preventing forced labor goods to enter the U.S. Specially the U.S will 1) Enhance education and outreach efforts, 2) Strengthen efforts to address demand reduction, 3) Strengthen efforts to identify, prevent, and address labor trafficking in product supply chains, 4) Enhance capacity to prohibit goods produced with forced labor, and 5) Enhance protections from trafficking in visa programs.

Protection: The U.S. is committed to offering victim protection and support through services that are victim-centered and trauma informed. Specifically the U.S. will 1) Develop/update and implement screening forms and protocols, 2) Enhance training for those on the frontlines, 3) Increase access to public awareness materials, 4) Ensure victims of human trafficking are safeguarded, 5) Expand and improve federal assistance to victims of trafficking, 6) Seek financial remedies for victims, and 7) Increase access to services for victims.

Prosecution: The U.S. is committed to holding human trafficking individuals and organizations accountable. Specifically the U.S. will 1) Improve coordination among law enforcement to increase criminal enforcement, 2) Build capacity of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute, and 3) Enhance efforts to bring traffickers to justice by deploying a broader range of non-criminal tools.

Cross-Cutting: Under this new pillar, the U.S. will develop a more comprehensive whole of government approach to preventing, protecting, and prosecuting human trafficking. Specifically, the U.S. will 1) Strengthen the understanding for human trafficking in the U.S., 2) Enhance information sharing with inter-agencies, 3) Strengthen federal anti-trafficking efforts by incorporating survivor input, and 4) Strengthen federal anti-trafficking efforts through collaboration.

DevTech supports the Department of State by conducting evaluations of J/TIP programs and providing recommendations for improving program impacts in combating trafficking. The National Action Plan is a positive step towards renewing the U.S. commitment to fighting human trafficking.

You can read more about DevTech’s evaluation work with the J/TIP office here, here, and here.