U.S. Department of Justice



Date of this Version



National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention (2011) 305 pages



The victims of modern slavery have many faces. They are men and women, adults and children. Yet, all are denied basic human dignity and freedom…. We must join together as a Nation and global community to provide [a] safe haven by protecting victims and prosecuting traffickers. With improved victim identification, medical and social services, training for first responders, and increased public awareness, the men, women, and children who have suffered this scourge can overcome the bonds of modern slavery, receive protection and justice, and successfully reclaim their rightful independence.

~ President Barack Obama

Despite [our] achievements, there is much more work to be done. Meeting the civil rights challenges of the 21st century will require us to identify new enforcement strategies, to forge new partnerships, and to provide more support for victim service providers. But we should all be encouraged that the global movement to end human trafficking has received unprecedented attention and resources, as well as unprecedented political support…. We must seize the opportunity to be a leader in the global fight against human trafficking, and to ensure that the nation we love remains a beacon of freedom for all humankind.

~ Attorney General Eric Holder

Trafficking in persons (TIP), or human trafficking, is a widespread form of modern-day slavery. Traffickers often prey on individuals who are poor, frequently unemployed, or underemployed, and who may lack access to social safety nets. Victims are often lured by traffickers with false promises of good jobs and better lives, and then forced to work under brutal and inhumane conditions. Due to the lengths to which perpetrators go to keep their crimes hidden, it is difficult to accurately estimate the extent of victimization. Nonetheless, the United States (U.S.) has led the world in the campaign against this terrible crime both at home and overseas.

This year marks a significant milestone in the history of the U.S.’s ongoing campaign to eliminate human trafficking—the tenth anniversary of the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), Pub. L. 106-386. Enactment of the TVPA in October 2000 signaled a new step forward in our nation’s response to trafficking. Specifically, the TVPA significantly enhanced three aspects of federal government activity to combat TIP: protection, prosecution, and prevention.

First, the TVPA expanded the U.S. Government’s efforts to protect victims of trafficking. It provided for victim assistance in the U.S. by making foreign TIP victims who were otherwise ineligible for government assistance eligible for federally funded or administered health and other benefits and services; mandated U.S. Government protections for foreign victims of trafficking and, where applicable, their families; outlined protections from removal, including T non-immigrant status for trafficking victims over the age of 18 who cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking (victims under 18 are not required to cooperate in order to receive immigration benefits); and allowed T non-immigrant status holders to adjust to permanent resident status.