Twenty Years of Progress in the Anti-Trafficking Movement
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Prior to the passage of the Act, the United States relied on traditional laws prohibiting involuntary servitude; however, these laws often fell short of addressing modern day forms of human trafficking.
This landmark legislation recognized the importance of protecting victims, holding traffickers criminally accountable, and preventing victimization from occurring in the first place. It also provided clear legal definitions of both sex and labor trafficking.
The Act helped build a framework for collaboration among federal agencies to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts. From public awareness campaigns, enforcement, prosecution, and services for victims, the Act has led to remarkable progress in combating human trafficking.
In the 20 years since the Act was signed into law, programming through the Office for Victims of Crime has grown significantly. The Office for Victims of Crime is the largest federal funder of services for human trafficking victims in the U.S. We now manage more than 400 grant awards, totaling over $270 million dollars, in 46 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands.
From July 2019 through June 2020, Office for Victims of Crime human trafficking grantees provided services including case management, legal services, employment assistance, and safety planning to 9,854 clients.
In commemoration of this anniversary, we launched the Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center website; and launched the Represent Resilience Virtual Gallery that features original artwork by survivors, advocates, and anti-trafficking professionals across the country.
“We have come a long way over the last 20 years, but we also recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done,” states OVC Director Jessica E. Hart in a video message. “The approach embraced by this Administration, in coordination with all of you, is bringing about real change. The Department stands ready to support you on the frontlines of this fight.”
Watch Director Hart’s video message commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and explore our human trafficking microsite for more information about anti-trafficking efforts and resources for anti-trafficking professionals.
The right to liberty is one of the fundamental values on which our Nation was built. The Office for Victims of Crime will continue to work diligently to combat all forms of human trafficking.
(Posted October 28, 2020)
Just Launched: Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center Website
Twenty years ago, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. This landmark legislation provided a framework for protecting victims, holding traffickers criminally accountable, and preventing victimization from occurring in the first place.
As part of our commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the Office for Victims of Crime is launching the Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center website.
The Center offers free coaching and mentoring to organizations and federally recognized tribes looking to start, sustain, or grow their anti-trafficking work. It offers help in a number of areas, including financial management, community partnerships, delivery of victim services, and more. A resource library provides information on topics including grant funding availability for human trafficking and victim identification programs. It also houses sample documents for formalizing partnerships and managing relationships.
The Center also proactively reaches out to states, regions, tribes, and territories that receive little or no funding from the Office for Victims of Crime for their human trafficking programs to help address gaps in their service coverage.
“The Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center will be able to provide the resources necessary so that you can build capacity in your organization or tribe to address this heinous crime,” states Bill Woolf, Senior Advisor for Victim Services and Human Trafficking Program Director, in a video message.
(Posted October 28, 2020)
OVC Releases a Resource Guide on COVID-19 for Human Trafficking Grantees
"Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard from many of you in the field that COVID–19 is stretching your resources and presenting challenges to your ability to conduct victim outreach and care," states OVC Director Jessica E. Hart. "Starting with the White House, the COVID-19 response is a whole-of-government effort, and I thought it would be useful to provide a round-up of COVID-19-related government guidelines and resources that may help you continue to provide high quality support and advocacy to survivors."
Read the Resource Guide on COVID-19 for Human Trafficking Grantees to help answer your most pressing questions about how to operate, provide services, and manage OVC grants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
OVC continues to operate at full capacity, albeit remotely, and we will continue to support your efforts to provide critical services to victims of human trafficking.
(Posted May 14, 2020)
New Guidance on Creating Human Trafficking Public Awareness and Training Materials
The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) has released the Senior Policy Operating Group Public Awareness and Outreach Committee Guide For Public Awareness Materials (non-binding) publication.
This guide serves as a public resource that reflects the common messaging, standard statistics, and shared guidelines on images that Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG) agencies use when creating public awareness and training materials on human trafficking. Other organizations and members of the public are encouraged to follow this guide and incorporate it into their organization policies and practices.
Among the recommendations in this guide is to avoid images that display physical abuse, reinforce misconceptions about human trafficking, or sensationalize the issue, such as those depicting victims of trafficking in chains, behind bars, or in handcuffs.
The PITF consists of 19 federal government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, responsible for coordinating U.S. government-wide efforts to combat trafficking in persons. The SPOG consists of senior officials designated as representatives of the PITF agencies. Both the PITF and SPOG work year-round to address the many aspects of human trafficking both in the United States and around the world.
(Posted March 27, 2020)
Register for a New Online Training on Human Trafficking
OVC recently announced the release of the new Understanding Human Trafficking training at the Human Trafficking Grantee Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
OVC invites victim service providers, allied professionals, and interested members of the general public to register for this new training, a series of five interactive online modules that offer foundational learning on trauma-informed and victim-centered approaches to human trafficking.
The Understanding Human Trafficking training equips participants to think critically about human trafficking using reliable resources, both locally and from across the United States. Some of the skills offered include—
- implementing trauma-informed approaches to victim identification and outreach,
- assessing victims for comprehensive service needs,
- employing a collaborative victim service delivery model by connecting with local partners,
- identifying accurate data and research on human trafficking, and
- new strategies for researching and analyzing laws and policies that impact human trafficking, victim services, and victims' rights.
Register for this training today.
(Posted February 5, 2020)
OVC Resources for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Every January, our nation commemorates National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
This year, OVC celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which established the importance of holding traffickers criminally accountable, protecting victims, and preventing victimization from occurring in the first place. Learn more about some of OVC's work in supporting anti-trafficking professionals over the past 20 years.
Since the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed, OVC has become the largest federal funder for direct services to victims of human trafficking in the United States.
OVC’s human trafficking team currently manages more than 243 awards representing over $167 million in 45 states, 1 territory, and the District of Columbia. In fiscal year (FY) 2019 alone, OVC made 120 awards totaling approximately $80 million to improve the quantity and quality of services for victims of all forms of human trafficking.
See our Human Trafficking Services and Task Forces Map for more information about OVC grantees currently providing services to victims of human trafficking.
This fiscal year, OVC released one human trafficking funding opportunity, the FY 2020 Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking solicitation. Subscribe to receive News From OVC for updates on additional funding opportunities.
OVC supports anti-trafficking professionals through training and technical assistance and other resources, such as:
OVC Human Trafficking Weblet
Recently updated, this site contains information about OVC-funded training and technical assistance and other federally-funded technical assistance providers.
OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center: Human Trafficking
Find training and technical assistance to help build the capacity of your organization to respond to victims of human trafficking.
Faces of Human Trafficking Resource Guide
Use this resource to raise awareness of the seriousness of human trafficking, the many forms it can take, and the important role that everyone can play in identifying and serving victims.
Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide
This guide is a resource to support the day-to-day operations of human trafficking task forces. It can be used to help create a new task force or enhance the operations of an existing task force.
Visit the OVC calendar for events commemorating this month, including two OVC-supported webinars:
Increasing Community Awareness of Labor Trafficking
January 15, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. eastern time
Survivor Strategies to Generate Income While Looking for Sustainable Employment: Opportunities through Independent Contracting
January 21, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. eastern time
In commemoration of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, join OVC and spread awareness to ensure all trafficking victims receive necessary support and services.
(Posted January 10, 2019)