In June, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report assessing federal agencies’ efforts to combat human trafficking. The report, GAO-16-555, focuses on the prevalence of human trafficking, victim issues, and avoiding grant duplication.
Many U.S. federal agencies lead efforts to address human trafficking. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security lead federal investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes. The Departments of Defense, Labor, and State, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigate trafficking related offenses under certain circumstances, and take further action, as appropriate. And the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services award grants to fund victim service programs.
While completing this study, GAO found that federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, have begun efforts to assess the prevalence of human trafficking in the United States and develop data standards and definitions to help facilitate prevalence studies. GAO’s interviews with federal, state, and local law enforcement revealed that victim service programs, such as those that provide mental health and substance abuse services, have helped improve victim cooperation in trafficking cases.
GAO also identified 42 grant programs with awards made in 2014 and 2015 that may be used to combat human trafficking or to assist victims of human trafficking.
For more information on GAO-16-555, please follow the link below.
GAO-16-555, Human Trafficking: Agencies Have Taken Steps to Assess Prevalence, Address Victim Issues, and Avoid Grant Duplication