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The Fight Against Human Trafficking

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2019
2 pages
Publication Series
This article presents an overview of research funded by the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of justice (NIJ) that addresses the features of and countermeasures for human trafficking.
The United Nations defines "human trafficking" as "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose, including forced labor or sexual exploitation." The United Nations passed a convention to address human trafficking; and in 2000, the U.S. Congress enacted the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA). In facilitating the implementation of the TVPA, NIJ has made human trafficking a research priority. The five areas of NIJ research on human trafficking are the nature and extent of trafficking, the identification and investigation of traffickers, the prosecution of traffickers, services for trafficking victims, and a reduction in the demand for trafficking. One study found that 71 percent of trafficking victims surveyed came to the United States legally on a temporary visa; however, by the time they escaped from their labor trafficking situation, 69 percent had lapsed visas. This enabled employers to use workers' lapsed visas as a means of threatening and controlling them. Another NIJ-funded research project developed, tested, and validated a screening tool for victims of human trafficking that has facilitated the identification of victims, as well as the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. 9 notes

Date Published: June 1, 2019