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 71 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.
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 our human trafficking initiative began in 2004, the number of human trafficking investigations we have opened has doubled, from 86 in 2004 to 167 in 2009. Over the same time period, the number of prosecutions and convictions engaged in human trafficking has more than quadrupled. The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has established a national hotline to receive complaints and has further embarked with the FBI on an extensive outreach program with immigrant advocacy groups to raise awareness and identify victims of human trafficking. That hotline number is 1-888-428-7581.