This study focuses on the diverse meanings and consequences of a recent US law, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, on female victims of trafficking, and the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) who provide services to them under the legislation. The project focuses on the New York metro area, given the concentration of organizations providing services to victims of trafficking and the high number of individuals being certified as victims of severe forms of trafficking. This study seeks to answer three central questions: 1) How is the TVPA being implemented and how are the services it mandates being delivered? 2) How do NGO service providers' and trafficked women's understandings of who counts as a 'victim of trafficking' differ from the federal government's official definition? and 3) How are the implementation of anti-trafficking policies and the delivery of services to trafficking victims influenced by socio-cultural attitudes about gender, migration, and victimization?
Research methods will include in-depth interviews with trafficked women, NGO service providers, and government and law enforcement officials, participant observation at NGOs and trafficking hearings, and policy analysis of government and non-government documents, speeches, and reports related to trafficking. This combination of methods will provide evidence of how trafficked women and the organizations serving them negotiate the system and interpret the law, as well as how state-level policy is implemented, interpreted, and contested. Data collection will take the form of fieldnotes, transcriptions of interviews, and analysis of policy documents. The grantee anticipates interviewing 10 to 15 service providers, 10 to 15 trafficked women, 5 to 10 prosecutors or law enforcement officials, and at least one individual from each of the federal departments involved in developing or implementing trafficking policy.