On 12 November 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice “awarded more than $100 million in funding, through the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), to combat human trafficking and provide vital services to trafficking victims throughout the United States.”
This pledge made by the DOJ and Attorney General Barr will award these funds across multiple offices dedicated to the flight against human trafficking. In the recent press release, the DOJ detailed specifically the following program to be awarded grants:
- The Direct Services to Support Victims of Human Trafficking program gives nearly $53 million to 77 organizations to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to victims of all forms of trafficking.
- The Integrated Services for Minor Victims of Human Trafficking program awards over $15 million total to 32 programs to provide minor victims of trafficking with high-quality services that are developmentally appropriate and tailored for their individual needs.
- The Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking program gives over $6 million total to four organizations to integrate human trafficking policy and programming at the state level and to enhance coordinated, multidisciplinary and statewide approaches to serving trafficked youth.
- The Field-Generated Innovations in Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking program awards $4 million total to five programs to fill gaps and improve the victim services field’s response to human trafficking.
- The Specialized Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance and Resource Development program awarded $1 million to provide efficient and streamlined technical assistance and training to improve services offered to labor trafficking victims nationwide.
Despite this effort by the Department of Justice, Human Trafficking is still a multi-billion-dollar industry affecting over 40 million people to date worldwide. Human Trafficking is not just about sexual exploitation, in fact, its more commonly associated with forced labor. In acknowledgement of this reality, many corporations have implemented corporate social responsibility (CSR) measures to fight human trafficking.
- Delta’s commitment to the fight began in 2011. According to their Senior Vice President of In-Flight Service, “Our commitment is a consistent, dedicated drumbeat until each person is set free: we’re all in and we don’t waver.”
- The Walmart Foundation is focused on “strengthening the demand for responsible labor practices, invest in data and transparency, enhancing worker and community voice and supporting strong policy and regulation.”
- In May 2019, UPS received the United Way Worldwide Gamechangers Award for its fight against human trafficking.
- In January 2019, Marriott International announced it had successfully trained half a million employees to spot the signs of human trafficking and the proper responses.
With major companies, like the above, providing an example of how the private sector can contribute to the fight against human trafficking, the future appears promising. In fact, a recent study published by Penn State discussed the importance of corporate social responsibility in the fight against human trafficking while suggesting that the formation of more public-private partnerships (PPPs) between corporations like Delta and government entities like the DOJ may bridge the gap in effective anti-human trafficking regulation. It is unclear at this time, whether these partnerships will occur, but the potential considering the separate initiative of both sectors is significant. At the very least these partnerships, could yield capital injections to the fight that rival the revenue generated by the trafficking itself. But – only time will tell.
“Human traffickers remain a dire threat to human rights across the globe and their actions pose a serious danger to public safety right here in our own country,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “I’m proud that these resources will help our law enforcement officers and victim service providers hold perpetrators accountable and give victims of these abominable crimes a place to turn for refuge and support.”