Prosecution, Protection, and Prevention

Silhouette of a man holding welding equipment at a construction site. (Yury Kim, 2008)

The “3P” paradigm—prosecution, protection, and prevention—continues to serve as the fundamental framework used around the world to combat human trafficking. The United States also follows this approach, reflected in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Protocol) and in the United States’ Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (TVPA). The U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) employs a range of diplomatic and programmatic tools to advance the 3P paradigm worldwide. In addition, a fourth “P”—for partnership—serves as a complementary means to achieve progress across the 3Ps and enlist all segments of society in the fight against modern slavery.


Under the frameworks set forth in both the Palermo Protocol and the TVPA, effective law enforcement action is an indispensable element of government efforts to fight human trafficking. In the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, the Department of State analyzes whether governments criminalize all forms of human trafficking, vigorously investigate and prosecute cases of human trafficking, and convict and sentence those responsible for such acts with prison sentences that are sufficiently stringent to deter the crime and adequately reflect the heinous nature of the offense.

In line with the TVPA, an effective criminal justice response to human trafficking should treat the prosecution of cases as seriously as other grave crimes, such as kidnapping or rape. Governments should hold criminally accountable all perpetrators of human trafficking, including intermediaries aware of the intended exploitation, and should not impose suspended sentences, fines, or administrative penalties in place of prison sentences. Ideally, and consistent with the Palermo Protocol, a victim-centered legal framework should also authorize court-ordered restitution or compensation to victims in conjunction with the successful conviction of traffickers.

Non-criminal resolutions, such as mediation procedures, fall short of the Palermo Protocol’s standards, which essentially define trafficking in persons as a crime to be prosecuted, not a civil wrong to be remedied by damages alone. Without prison sentences, human traffickers will not be effectively deterred.

The TIP Office works with its interagency and law enforcement partners within the U.S. government, as well as with NGOs and international organizations around the world, to assist other governments with drafting and implementing comprehensive anti-trafficking laws and vigorously prosecuting traffickers.


Protection is key to the victim-centered approach that the international community takes in its efforts to combat modern slavery. Effective victim protection entails identifying victims, providing referrals for a comprehensive array of services, directly providing or funding NGOs to provide those services, and supporting these individuals as they rebuild their lives.

Identifying victims is a critical first step in ensuring their ability to receive the support and resources they need. Proactive identification efforts and training for first responders, licensed health care practitioners, and other service providers are critically important to a government’s ability to combat human trafficking. After identification, governments should prioritize the rights and needs of victims to ensure that protection efforts are provided in ways that treat victims with dignity and provide them each the opportunity to return to a life of their choosing. The TIP Office works to build the capacity of governments and NGOs to enhance victim protection in countries worldwide.

To effectively protect foreign national trafficking victims, governments should enable them to remain in the country, work, and obtain services without fear of detention or deportation for lack of legal status or because of crimes that their traffickers forced them to commit. In addition, governments should ease the process for victims to secure immigration relief. Safeguards should be put in place to ensure the security of victims as well as of their family members who may be at risk of intimidation or retaliation from traffickers. In cases in which trafficking victims, either adults or children, have records for crimes committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking, such records should be vacated or expunged.

Adequate victim protection requires effective partnerships between law enforcement and service providers not only immediately after identification, but also throughout a victim’s participation in criminal justice or civil proceedings.

Comprehensive victim services include emergency and long-term services; intensive case management, housing, food, medical and dental care, and legal assistance; and access to educational, vocational, and economic opportunities. Efforts to support foreign national victims of trafficking as they rebuild their lives include voluntary repatriation and assistance in their home communities.


Prevention efforts are an equally important component of the global movement to combat human trafficking. Effective prevention efforts address the tactics of human traffickers head on. With the dissemination of accurate and targeted information, communities will be better prepared to respond to the threat of human trafficking. Strategic intervention programs can reach at-risk populations before they are faced with the deceitful recruitment practices of those bent on exploiting them for labor or commercial sex. Meaningful partnerships between public and private sectors and civil society can expand awareness, leverage expertise, and facilitate creative solutions.

Prevention efforts should also encapsulate cross-cutting endeavors, such as amending labor laws so they do not omit certain classes of workers from coverage; robustly enforcing labor laws, particularly in sectors where trafficking is most typically found; implementing measures, such as birth registration, that reduce vulnerabilities to trafficking; developing and monitoring labor recruitment programs to protect workers from exploitation; strengthening partnerships among law enforcement, government, and NGOs; emphasizing effective policy implementation with stronger enforcement, better reporting, and government-endorsed business standards; monitoring supply chains to address forced labor, including through government procurement policies; and working to reduce demand for commercial sex.

Additionally, recent innovations in private sector engagement on trafficking in persons hold potential to advance prevention efforts. A new push for corporate accountability calls on companies to focus additional attention on their supply chains, specifically to assess the recruitment of their workforce and that of their suppliers, including those harvesting, collecting, or mining raw materials.

Over time, new prevention measures and methods will emerge and evolve as governments and anti-trafficking stakeholders apply experience and share lessons learned. Although often the hardest to measure, prevention efforts can become more sophisticated, scalable, and effective if supported by sufficient resources and political will.

Prosecution, protection, and prevention efforts are closely intertwined. Indeed, the effectiveness of the 3Ps lies in their mutually reinforcing nature and complementarity. Prosecution, for example, acts as a deterrent, potentially preventing the occurrence of human trafficking. Likewise, protection can empower those who have been exploited so that they are not re-victimized once they re-enter society. A victim-centered prosecution that enables a survivor to participate in the prosecution is integral to protection efforts.

Using the 3P paradigm, the TIP Office works year-round to assess government efforts, advocate for more effective responses, and support international organizations and NGOs dedicated to combating human trafficking around the world.

Modern Slavery?

People in a market. (Pixabay; 2017)

“Trafficking in persons,” “human trafficking,” and “modern slavery” are used as umbrella terms to refer to both sex trafficking and compelled labor. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-386), as amended (TVPA), and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Palermo Protocol) describe this compelled service using a number of different terms, including involuntary servitude, slavery or practices similar to slavery, debt bondage, and forced labor.

Human trafficking can include, but does not require, movement. People may be considered trafficking victims regardless of whether they were born into a state of servitude, were exploited in their home town, were transported to the exploitative situation, previously consented to work for a trafficker, or participated in a crime as a direct result of being trafficked. At the heart of this phenomenon is the traffickers’ aim to exploit and enslave their victims and the myriad coercive and deceptive practices they use to do so.

Sex Trafficking

When an adult engages in a commercial sex act, such as prostitution, as the result of force, threats of force, fraud, coercion or any combination of such means, that person is a victim of trafficking. Under such circumstances, perpetrators involved in recruiting, harboring, enticing, transporting, providing, obtaining, patronizing, soliciting, or maintaining a person for that purpose are guilty of sex trafficking of an adult. Sex trafficking also may occur through a specific form of coercion whereby individuals are compelled to continue in prostitution through the use of unlawful “debt,” purportedly incurred through their transportation, recruitment, or even their “sale”—which exploiters insist they must pay off before they can be free. Even if an adult initially consents to participate in prostitution it is irrelevant: if an adult, after consenting, is subsequently held in service through psychological manipulation or physical force, he or she is a trafficking victim and should receive benefits outlined in the Palermo Protocol and applicable domestic laws.

Child Sex Trafficking

When a child (under 18 years of age) is recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, patronized, solicited, or maintained to perform a commercial sex act, proving force, fraud, or coercion is not necessary for the offense to be prosecuted as human trafficking. There are no exceptions to this rule: no cultural or socioeconomic rationalizations alter the fact that children who are exploited in prostitution are trafficking victims. The use of children in commercial sex is prohibited under U.S. law and by statute in most countries around the world. Sex trafficking has devastating consequences for children, including long-lasting physical and psychological trauma, disease (including HIV/AIDS), drug addiction, unwanted pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, and even death.

Forced Labor

Forced labor, sometimes also referred to as labor trafficking, encompasses the range of activities—recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining—involved when a person uses force or physical threats, psychological coercion, abuse of the legal process, deception, or other coercive means to compel someone to work. Once a person’s labor is exploited by such means, the person’s prior consent to work for an employer is legally irrelevant: the employer is a trafficker and the employee a trafficking victim. Migrants are particularly vulnerable to this form of human trafficking, but individuals also may be forced into labor in their own countries. Female victims of forced or bonded labor, especially women and girls in domestic servitude, are often sexually abused or exploited as well.

Bonded Labor or Debt Bondage

One form of coercion used by traffickers in both sex trafficking and forced labor is the imposition of a bond or debt. Some workers inherit debt; for example, in South Asia it is estimated that there are millions of trafficking victims working to pay off their ancestors’ debts. Others fall victim to traffickers or recruiters who unlawfully exploit an initial debt assumed, wittingly or unwittingly, as a term of employment. Traffickers, labor agencies, recruiters, and employers in both the country of origin and the destination country can contribute to debt bondage by charging workers recruitment fees and exorbitant interest rates, making it difficult, if not impossible, to pay off the debt. Such circumstances may occur in the context of employment-based temporary work programs in which a worker’s legal status in the destination country is tied to the employer so workers fear seeking redress.

Domestic Servitude

Involuntary domestic servitude is a form of human trafficking found in distinct circumstances—work in a private residence—that create unique vulnerabilities for victims. It is a crime in which a domestic worker is not free to leave his or her employment and is abused and underpaid, if paid at all. Many domestic workers do not receive the basic benefits and protections commonly extended to other groups of workers—things as simple as a day off. Moreover, their ability to move freely is often limited, and employment in private homes increases their isolation and vulnerability. Labor officials generally do not have the authority to inspect employment conditions in private homes. Domestic workers, especially women, confront various forms of abuse, harassment, and exploitation, including sexual and gender-based violence. These issues, taken together, may be symptoms of a situation of domestic servitude. When the employer of a domestic worker has diplomatic status and enjoys immunity from civil and/or criminal jurisdiction, the vulnerability to domestic servitude is enhanced.

Forced Child Labor

Although children may legally engage in certain forms of work, children can also be found in slavery or slavery-like situations. Some indicators of forced labor of a child include situations in which the child appears to be in the custody of a non-family member who requires the child to perform work that financially benefits someone outside the child’s family and does not offer the child the option of leaving, such as forced begging. Anti-trafficking responses should supplement, not replace, traditional actions against child labor, such as remediation and education. When children are enslaved, their exploiters should not escape criminal punishment—something that occurs when governments use administrative responses to address cases of forced child labor.

Unlawful Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers

Child soldiering is a manifestation of human trafficking when it involves the unlawful recruitment or use of children—through force, fraud, or coercion—by armed forces as combatants or other forms of labor. Perpetrators may be government armed forces, paramilitary organizations, or rebel groups. Many children are forcibly abducted to be used as combatants. Others are made to work as porters, cooks, guards, servants, messengers, or spies. Young girls may be forced to “marry” or be raped by commanders and male combatants. Both male and female child soldiers are often sexually abused or exploited by armed groups and such children are subject to the same types of devastating physical and psychological consequences associated with child sex trafficking.

What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations.

Language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement frequently keep victims from seeking help, making human trafficking a hidden crime.

Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.

Many myths and misconceptions exist. Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Not all indicators listed are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

The safety of the public as well as the victim is paramount. Do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. It is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking.

20 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking in 2020

Man picking yellow fruit. (Pixabay; 2003)

Anyone can join in the fight against human trafficking. Here are 20 ideas to consider acting on in the year 2020.

  1. Learn the indicators of human trafficking on the TIP Office’s website or by taking a training.  Human trafficking awareness training is available for individuals, businesses, first responders, law enforcement, educators, and federal employees, among others.
  2. If you are in the United States and believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking, call the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or report an emergency to law enforcement by calling 911. Trafficking victims, whether or not U.S. citizens, are eligible for services and immigration assistance.
  3. Be a conscientious and informed consumer. Find out more about who may have picked your tomatoes or made your clothes at, or check out the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Encourage companies to take steps to prevent human trafficking in their supply chains and publish the information, including supplier or factory lists, for consumer awareness.
  4. Volunteer and support anti-trafficking efforts in your community.
  5. Meet with and/or write to your local, state, and federal elected officials to let them know you care about combating human trafficking and ask what they are doing to address it.
  6. Be well-informed. Set up a web alert to receive current human trafficking news. Also, check out CNN’s Freedom Project for more stories on the different forms of human trafficking around the world.
  7. Host an awareness-raising event to watch and discuss films about human trafficking. For example, learn how modern slavery exists today; watch an investigative documentary about sex trafficking; or discover how forced labor can affect global food supply chains. Alternatively, contact your local library and ask for assistance identifying an appropriate book and ask them to host the event.
  8. Organize a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to an anti-trafficking organization.
  9. Encourage your local schools or school district to include human trafficking in their curricula and to develop protocols for identifying and reporting a suspected case of human trafficking or responding to a potential victim.
  10. Use your social media platforms to raise awareness about human trafficking, using the following hashtags: #endtrafficking, #freedomfirst.
  11. Think about whether your workplace is trauma-informed and reach out to management or the Human Resources team to urge implementation of trauma-informed business practices.
  12. Become a mentor to a young person or someone in need. Traffickers often target people who are going through a difficult time or who lack strong support systems. As a mentor, you can be involved in new and positive experiences in that person’s life during a formative time.
  13. Parents and Caregivers: Learn how human traffickers often target and recruit youth and who to turn to for help in potentially dangerous situations. Host community conversations with parent teacher associations, law enforcement, schools, and community members regarding safeguarding children in your community.
  14. Youth: Learn how to recognize traffickers’ recruitment tactics, how to safely navigate out of a suspicious or uncomfortable situations, and how to reach out for help at any time.
  15. Faith-Based Communities: Host awareness events and community forums with anti-trafficking leaders or collectively support a local victim service provider.
  16. Businesses: Provide jobs, internships, skills training, and other opportunities to trafficking survivors. Take steps to investigate and prevent trafficking in your supply chains by consulting the Responsible Sourcing Tool and Comply Chain to develop effective management systems to detect, prevent, and combat human trafficking.
  17. College Students: Take action on your campus. Join or establish a university club to raise awareness about human trafficking and initiate action throughout your local community. Consider doing one of your research papers on a topic concerning human trafficking. Request that human trafficking be included in university curricula.
  18. Health Care Providers: Learn how to identify the indicators of human trafficking and assist victims. With assistance from local anti-trafficking organizations, extend low-cost or free services to human trafficking victims. Resources from the Department of Health and Human Services can be found on their website.
  19. Journalists: The media plays an enormous role in shaping perceptions and guiding the public conversation about human trafficking. Seek out some media best practices on how to effectively and responsibly report stories on human trafficking.
  20. Attorneys: Offer human trafficking victims legal services, including support for those seeking benefits or special immigration status. Resources are available for attorneys representing victims of human trafficking.

U.S Department of State


show the victims of abuse

Sexual assault is an act or behavior in which an individual intentionally touches another person without his/her permission or consent and forces a person to engage in the sexual activity against their will to assert power and control over the people. Sexual assault has many forms including rape, groping, child sexual abuse, and torture of the person in a sexual manner. It is a type of sexual disorder in which the person gets pleasure by touching or forcing others in a way that the other person gets angry and frustrated at him. It also includes touching forcefully strangers and rubbing their genitals with the person’s body and feel aroused and excited about the reaction of the victim.

Any sexual touching that occurs without the will or consent of the person is sexual violence and no one has the right to touch you without your permission.

It can be happened anywhere, in the subways, workplace, between co-workers, in the clubs or bars, and on the beach, etc.

Penetration without person’s consent is also a type of sexual assault in which the person forcefully does penetration in the vaginal and anus area and also includes oral sex without the person’s will. This act leads to different horrible physical effects. It is a serious type of crime and can lead to long term consequences.

Sexual assault is a serious crime with several horrible consequences. It affects both the offender and the victim in many ways. They feel disturbed psychologically, emotionally, and physically that take whole life a person to recover from these

Alarming Reality

emotional state after exploitation

Every year, many cases of human trafficking are reported all over the world, but it is most rampant here in the United States. Here, human trafficking happens to all races, ages, gender, and nationality. The most common trick used by human traffickers here in the United States involves luring with gifts, manipulation, false promises, use of violence, promises of well-paying jobs, and luring victims with romantic relationships. The victims end up in forced and unpaid labor or exploitation through commercial sex.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is an act or behavior in which an individual intentionally touches another person without his/her permission or consent and forces a person to engage in the sexual activity against their will to assert power and control over the people. Sexual assault has many forms including rape, groping, child sexual abuse, and torture of the person in a sexual manner. It is a type of sexual disorder in which the person gets pleasure by touching or forcing others in a way that the other person gets angry and frustrated at him.

Sexual assault does not always aim to get pleasure from sex. It can be concern about having control over the people to assert power. Most of the time offenders abused themselves by touching and using different types of gadgets and toys, but it is not always the case. Sexual assault is a serious and horrible crime and should be punished by the law.

Most of the people are having several confusions about sexual assault.