Human Trafficking—FBI Initiatives

Broken chainlink fence with lock and chain

The FBI has stepped up its efforts to disrupt human trafficking operations worldwide and to free its victims. These efforts are focused on combating the exploitation of individuals who work in labor industries, such as agriculture and domestic service, and who are forced into prostitution and/or slave labor.

Among our initiatives:

  • We work with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and national victim-based advocacy groups in joint task forces that combine resources and expertise on the issue. Today, the FBI participates in 88 human trafficking task forces and working groups around the nation.
  • Our Victim Specialists (along with victims specialists from the U.S. Attorney Offices and/or other non-government victim assistance service providers) work with human trafficking victims to not only advise them of their rights as victims but also to assure they get the help they need to address their short-term and long-term needs—like legal and repatriation services, immigration relief, housing, employment, education, job training, and child care.
  • The FBI participates in the Human Smuggling Trafficking Center (HSTC) created in July 2004 by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Attorney General. The HSTC serves as a fusion center for information on human smuggling and trafficking, bringing together analysts, officers, and investigators from such agencies as the CIA, the FBI, the Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition, FBI field offices continue to:

  • Produce threat assessments to determine the nature and extent of human trafficking in their areas;
  • Conduct aggressive human trafficking investigations and develop actionable intelligence for future potential cases;
  • Build relationships with civic and community groups and non-governmental organizations that can refer cases and provide valuable insights and information.

Since 2009, our pending human trafficking cases have increased from 167 to 459  by the end of fiscal year 2012. Also since 2009, our human trafficking investigations have resulted in 480 arrests, 336 informations/indictments, and 258 convictions. The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has embarked with the FBI on an extensive outreach program with immigrant advocacy groups to raise awareness and identify victims of human trafficking. In addition, the federal government has established a hotline for victims to call for assistance...that number, at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, is 1-888-373—7888.