USAID Counter-Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Report, FY 2015

This report, on USAID efforts to combat human trafficking and forced labor in Fiscal Year 2015, is submitted pursuant to Senate Report 114­79, accompanying S. 1725.

USAID views trafficking in persons as a pressing human rights issue and complex development challenge. It is estimated that nearly 21 million people are victims of human trafficking, but law enforcement agencies have only identified and documented about 50,000 cases globally. From a development perspective, trafficking undermines economic growth, impedes gender equality, and poses a serious threat to lifetime prospects for youth who are victimized. Trafficking exploits weak governance systems and infiltrates weak spots in global supply chains.

USAID’s programming to counter human trafficking in FY 2015 included the following:


  • In Burma​, USAID’s Project for Local Empowerment focuses on building the technical, management and leadership capacities of more than 30 Community­Based Organizations (CSOs) to sustainably deliver quality health, education, legal, and protection services, along with distributing food and cash transfers for displaced Burmese in Thailand and Southeast Burma. In the education sector, USAID counter­trafficking awareness and prevention activities on child trafficking have been integrated into life­skill and higher education training programs for displaced Burmese in Thailand. Life skills and child trafficking awareness interventions have reached 227 beneficiaries to date.
  • In Cambodia​, USAID works with the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC), civil society, private sector, and other key interlocutors to improve the implementation of policies and laws and the National Plan of Action for CTIP. The program also strengthens the provision of protective services for victims and the coordination of CTIP activities. The program has reached more than 18,000 at­risk individuals in target provinces with messages about safe migration practices and the potential danger of being trafficked, provided training to 336 government officials and youth to raise awareness about the dangers of trafficking, and supported training of government and NGO representatives on best ways to provide legal aid and repatriate victims. Through this program, USAID provided vocational training, medical treatment, counseling, and shelter services to 281 individuals who were either victims of trafficking and exploitation or vulnerable to trafficking. In addition, USAID trained 1,383 Cambodian government officials and NGO service providers on the Policy of Minimum Standards on residential care for victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, victim identification, case management, and counselling skills.
  • In the Philippines​, USAID’s support of the Gerry Roxas Foundation involves working closely with the Regional Inter­Agency Council on Anti­Trafficking (RIACAT) in Regions six and seven. The program provides assistance to victims and their families and communities in the post­rescue and post­shelter phase. USAID’s work also focuses on public advocacy and partnership­building. Using both bottom­up and top­to­bottom approaches, USAID focuses on working with Regional, Provincial, Municipal, and Barangay governments, businesses, and CSOs to raise awareness, train service providers, and mobilize the community to bolster efforts in CTIP.
  • The PROGRESS project managed by USAID’s Regional Development Mission in Asia​focuses on the victim support provisions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Convention. It is helping ASEAN adopt a rights­based approach to the care for victims in protection, shelter, counseling, basic health care, legal support, and eventually administrative support for repatriation to their countries of origin. A baseline report to begin this program was presented to the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) at the end of August. This report documented the current situation in ASEAN member states in relation to victim identification, protection and support, and will set the foundation for drafting regional standards on the identification and treatment of TIP victims.
  • In Thailand​, USAID supports the IOM X project, which is an innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking. IOM X recognizes the power of young people to lead social change in their communities as peer educators and advocates. The campaign leverages the power and popularity of media and technology to inspire young people and their communities to act against human trafficking through videos, eLearning modules and on­line resources. It works closely with stakeholders and influencers across Asia Pacific – including celebrities, private sector partners, government agencies and non­governmental organizations.
  • In Bangladesh​, USAID’s CTIP activity aims to reduce the prevalence of human trafficking and increase the protection of civil and human rights. This project is focused on preventing and reducing the risk of trafficking, protecting trafficking survivors, prosecuting trafficking offenders and coordinating effective partnerships among stakeholders. 1 Representing the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, “Barangay” is the Filipino term for district.
  • In Nepal​, USAID focuses on trafficking prevention, protection, and prosecution, while also promoting a higher level of coordination and institutional strengthening across a broad range of government and civil society stakeholders. In response to the earthquake, the project was expanded to offer protection services to earthquake­affected communities, including: (i) economic and preventive support to build resilient communities empowered to combat trafficking and gender­based violence; and (ii) support to mitigate protection risks and vulnerabilities for women and marginalized populations through community­based psychosocial support. Examples of the project’s results are: strengthening 250 Safe Migration Networks in six districts to be effective advocates and resource persons on trafficking, gender­based violence and safe labor migration, and establishing 17 new Village Committees to Combat Human Trafficking (VCCHT) in two districts that border India. To date, USAID has supported a total of 187 VCCHTs, which are instrumental in providing accurate information on safe migration and reducing trafficking in persons. USAID’s CTIP project has also provided direct support to 96 TIP survivors in FY15 through legal counseling, legal aid, and psychosocial counseling services. Basic psychosocial counseling was provided to an additional 204 individuals, including TIP, gender­based violence, and earthquake survivors. USAID supported prosecution of TIP perpetrators by training 267 judicial, law enforcement and foreign employment department officials on the rights­based framework on trafficking, and also supported legal counseling, legal aid, and court representation that contributed to the conviction of seven perpetrators in FY15.
  • In the Kyrgyz Republic​, USAID’s support focuses on advancing human rights and dignity in Central Asia, both as an issue of public policy, as well as civic culture. The project aims to increase citizen knowledge of and support for human rights norms; enhance support systems for protecting rights; serve those whose rights have been violated; and improve the legal and policy framework on human rights issues, including trafficking.
  • In Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan​, USAID support focuses on empowering local NGOs to advance human rights and dignity in Central Asia as an issue of public policy as well as civic culture. The project aims to increase citizen knowledge of and support for human rights norms, enhance support systems for protecting rights and serving those whose rights have been violated, and improve legal and policy framework on human rights issues.
  • In Uzbekistan​, USAID’s work enhances and expands reintegration services for female survivors of trafficking. Activities have helped survivors of trafficking find work and prevent them from being re­trafficked. The program has provided longer-­term, shelter-­based rehabilitation and helped victims successfully make the transition back into Uzbek society. The project also trains social workers to treat victims of trafficking. These social workers form a cadre of qualified experts that disseminate knowledge and skills widely among their colleagues throughout Uzbekistan. USAID also worked with the School for International Training to share best practices used in the U.S. to successfully prevent and prosecute labor and sex trafficking cases, and protect victims in partnership with Uzbek counterparts. A specific aim was to present cases of successful government/NGO/business collaboration to combat trafficking.
  • In Afghanistan​, USAID has recently begun work to assist victims and survivors of trafficking. The main focus of the project includes research, advocacy and awareness raising, and capacity building of state institutions to provide better protection services to victims and strengthened regional coordination to counter cross­border trafficking.


  • In Belarus​, USAID’s support focuses on reducing trafficking through victim assistance and the provision of reintegration services, targeted information and awareness­raising campaigns, promoting safe job searching among vulnerable populations, and strengthening local non­governmental service providers. The current iteration of the project includes activities aimed at enhancing Belarus’s country capacity to counter trafficking by strengthening civil society organizations and improving coordination between domestic stakeholders. Assistance focuses on developing and strengthening mechanisms for reintegrating trafficking victims, such as the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and local CTIP CSOs. Moreover, to improve employment opportunities for trafficking victims and representatives of at­risk groups, USAID supported the design and implementation of a training campaign on safe job­seeking practices. The campaign included vocational training to increase competitiveness of participants in the local job market. 577 trafficking victims and representatives of at­risk groups completed the training. In FY 2015, USAID also supported a package of protection activities for victims, including consultations through a phone hotline, safe housing, medical, psychological, and legal assistance, and reintegration and economic assistance to increase victims’ employment opportunities. These comprehensive services were provided to 215 victims of trafficking, helping them reintegrate into society and avoid being re­trafficked. In FY15, migrants from Ukraine became a significant group referred for services provided by USAID­supported CSOs partners. Migrants turned to the USAID­-supported hotline and CSOs for legal consultations and reintegration assistance.
  • In Azerbaijan​, USAID assistance aims to prevent trafficking and protect victims through raising awareness and providing technical and financial support to CSOs operating shelters for trafficking victims and vulnerable populations. As part of the program, USAID supported an assessment of civil society operated shelters to evaluate the opportunities and challenges they face, their rehabilitation and reintegration mechanisms, and the sustainability of their shelters and related services. The assessment provided recommendations for ensuring more expanded and sustainable victim services. Moving forward, the program will support a multi­stakeholder discussion on implementation of the National Action Plan to Fight Against Trafficking, national legislation, and international and European standards to promote communication and coordination toward a more effective, sustainable CTIP response.
  • In Albania​, USAID supports activities to consolidate existing structures and institutions responsible for identification, management, and referral of children at risk and victims of trafficking.
  • In Moldova​, USAID has provided free legal assistance to individuals on a range of issues, including trafficking. USAID also supports the development of a professional judicial and prosecutorial cadre by working with the National Institute of Justice to provide training for judges and prosecutors. The training includes three workshops on human trafficking and forced labor. In Bosnia and Herzegovina​, ​USAID support helps strengthen the capacities of CTIP institutions and organizations to adopt and implement more effective policies, laws, and regulations, and provide better protection and assistance to the victims of TIP.


  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo​, USAID provides rehabilitation and reintegration services to survivors of sexual and gender based violence and trafficking, including vulnerable children, through provision of medical and psychosocial support, victim referral for advanced care, family mediation and reunification, and legal assistance. In FY15, USAID supported the rehabilitation and reintegration of 1,475 children released from armed forces and groups, as well as 599 other vulnerable children separated from or abandoned by their families. USAID­funded activities included advocacy with armed forces and groups to secure the release of children, especially girls, still in their ranks and ensure that they have access to medical care and psychosocial services. In FY15, USAID also increased its collaboration with government, non­governmental, and United Nations agencies to staff verification centers at demobilization sites to improve data and allow access to larger numbers of children. Once identified and removed from armed groups, children are placed in temporary care centers or foster families, if needed, pending reunification with their families.
  • In Mauritania​, USAID support focuses on empowering civil society to more effectively address the legal, economic, social, and cultural factors that contribute to marginalization, with a particular focus on the rights of returnees, the stateless, and victims of slavery.
  • In Mozambique​, USAID enhances journalists' ability to responsibly report on human trafficking cases to increase public awareness.
  • In Ghana​, USAID assistance focuses on reducing trafficking and child labor in the fisheries sector through awareness­raising and improving livelihoods in targeted communities.


  • In Guatemala, USAID supported the protection of underaged girls and adolescents who are victims of trafficking to receive comprehensive care and legal support. Activities also involved strengthening the prevention of TIP through training, coordination and communications campaigns.


  • In Egypt​, USAID provides support for services and counseling to victims, advocating for legal and regulatory reform for prevention and conducting civic education activities. As a result of these activities, victims have received critical services and vulnerable communities have become more aware of the impacts of human trafficking. USAID also supports Egyptian government efforts to prosecute trafficking cases through training of prosecutors, protect victims by providing services, and prevent trafficking through public awareness campaigns and job training. These activities target border areas with Libya and Sudan. This program resulted in a national TIP action plan and draft anti­smuggling law. The project supported a variety of public awareness campaigns that reached 3,534 Egyptians. USAID support provided direct assistance and services to 517 vulnerable migrants at­risk of trafficking and/or smuggling and 23 female victims of trafficking. These services included medical care, food, and counseling. USAID assistance also trained judges on the international legal framework for combating human trafficking and taught them practical skills, such as interviewing techniques for working with victims of trafficking. In response to the recommendations in the 2015 TIP Report, USAID extended its assistance until March 2016 and funded a new $3.2 million project to prevent irregular migration and trafficking among vulnerable populations through activities such as public awareness campaigns, job training, and victim protection. The program will also support training prosecutors on trafficking cases.
Friday, June 3, 2016 - 4:15pm