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 Home > News & Policies > Policies in Focus
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Highlights of the President's Agenda to Combat Trafficking and Provide Assistance to Trafficking Victims

The President's On-going Initiatives to Combat Trafficking

Investigating and Prosecuting Trafficking Crimes. From FY 2001 to FY 2003, the Bush Administration opened 210 new investigations, which is more than double the number opened in the previous three fiscal years, and prosecuted 110 traffickers during this period, which is nearly a three-fold increase compared to the previous three fiscal years. With 3,200 arrests in the first year alone, the Department of Homeland Security's Operation Predator, launched in July 2003, targets those suspected of child sex crimes, including traffickers.

  • Anti-Trafficking Training. The Department of Justice continues to provide anti-trafficking training to Federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement agents and officers, to non-governmental organizations and to officials of foreign governments. DOJ is also developing a model curriculum for the victim-centered approach to identifying and rescuing trafficking victims and investigating and prosecuting their traffickers and abusers. DOJ also issues an annual report on trafficking within the United States.
  • Anti-Trafficking Task Forces. The Bush Administration has convened anti-trafficking task force coalitions in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Tampa and will create a dozen additional task forces this year. These task forces bring together Federal, state, local, and non-governmental sectors to combat trafficking and provide comprehensive assistance to victims. Additionally, public service announcements have been issued in Spanish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, and Korean to inform victims of their rights.
  • The President's Initiatives to Provide Assistance to Victims of Trafficking
    • Assistance for Victims of Trafficking. Since 2001, the President has provided more than $35 million to 36 faith-based and community organizations across the county to aid victims of trafficking with services such as emergency shelter, legal, mental, and health services and English-proficiency instruction. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services has launched a referral hotline to help victims escape by providing access to local service providers. Over 600 calls have been handled by the hotline since it began in April 2004. The Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline number is (888) 373-7888.
    • Immigration Relief for Trafficking Victims. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 created a new class of visa (T-visas) that allows trafficking victims to remain in the United States for three years with work authorization and access to benefits and services offered by HHS. At the end of three years, T-visa holders may apply for permanent residence. In 2002, DHS created a specially trained corps of adjudicators to handle applications for immigration relief for trafficking victims, and this team is steadily increasing the number of T-visas issued each year.
  • The President's Initiatives Abroad to Combat Trafficking and Provide Assistance to Victims
    • Support to Combat Trafficking and Provide Assistance to Victims Abroad. Since 2001, the President's budget has provided more than $295 million to support anti-trafficking programs in more than 120 countries. Funding goes to governments and non-governmental and international organizations to create specialized law enforcement units; train prosecutors and judges; strengthen anti-trafficking laws; provide emergency shelter and care for victims; offer voluntary repatriation assistance; make available long-term rehabilitation assistance and vocational training for victims; legal advocacy; psychological and medical assistance for victims; and launch information campaigns.
    • Cooperation for Investigating and Prosecuting Trafficking Crimes. Cooperation with other countries has contributed to the prosecution around the world of nearly 8,000 perpetrators of trafficking crimes, resulting in over 2,800 convictions. In addition, 24 countries have enacted new anti-trafficking legislation and 32 countries are in the process of drafting or passing new anti-trafficking legislation.
    • International Anti-trafficking Initiatives. Under the leadership of the United States and Norway, NATO adopted a comprehensive plan to help combat worldwide trafficking in persons in Istanbul in June 2004. NATO personnel will support the efforts of authorities in host countries to combat trafficking while working with non-governmental organizations and anti-trafficking experts.
    • Focused Attention to Combat Trafficking. In June 2004, the State Department issued a new Trafficking in Persons Report, which includes an analysis of 140 countries' efforts to combat trafficking, successful efforts worldwide, a summary of U.S. action to fight trafficking at home and new data on the scope of trafficking. Countries that are the worst offenders are now threatened with non-humanitarian sanctions.

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July 16, 2004


July 16, 2004

Assistant Attorney General Alexander Acosta Assistant Attorney General Alexander Acosta answered your questions on human trafficking. Read the Full Transcript.

July 8, 2004

DHS Assistant Secretary Mike Garcia DHS Assistant Secretary Mike Garcia discussed Operation Predator. Read the Full Transcript.

March 22, 2004

John R. Miller John R. Miller discussed the emerging human rights issue of the 21st century. Read the Full Transcript.


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