Human trafficking is a top investigative priority of the Bureau’s civil rights program.
During fiscal year 2012, we opened 306 human trafficking investigations around the nation involving forced labor or forced household service as well as sex trafficking of international victims (young and old) and adult U.S. citizen victims.
Along the same lines, the sex trafficking of U.S. children is also a priority within our crimes against children program. During fiscal year 2012, we opened 363 investigations into the commercial sexploitation of domestic minors. Fortunately, we were also able to locate more than 500 young victims of sex traffickers.
Help for victims.
The Bureau also has a robust assistance program in place for victims of human trafficking—as well as other federal crimes investigated by the FBI. Our Office for Victim Assistance (OVA) oversees the work of victim specialists located throughout 56 field offices.
These specialists—experienced in crisis intervention, social services, and victim assistance—work closely with agents to ensure that potential victims of trafficking are rescued, transferred to safe locations, and provided with referrals for medical, mental health, housing, legal, and other necessary services. And this past year, representatives from OVA and our civil rights program developed a protocol for human trafficking investigations that was implemented in all FBI field offices. The protocol highlights a victim-centered approach and the need for collaboration between the investigating agent, the local victim specialist, non-governmental agencies, and other law enforcement partners.
OVA oversees our child/adolescent forensic interviewers who work with Crimes Against Children task forces and provide training for agents and task force officers working human trafficking cases. These interviewers also collaborated with partner agencies to develop an interview protocol for minor victims of sexploitation for use by professionals working against human trafficking.
Training and awareness efforts are significant.
During fiscal year 2012, we conducted training around the country focused on defining, detecting, and investigating human trafficking cases. The audiences included law enforcement—both U.S. and international—along with government employees, religious and civic organizations, ethnic advocacy groups, schools, social service agencies, medical personnel, legal aid agencies, domestic violence services, etc.—in short, anyone in a position to make a difference in the life of a trafficking victim.
Multi-agency investigations, intelligence, victim assistance, training—we’re putting our tools and capabilities to work to help combat the scourge of human trafficking.
- Help Us Identify Potential Victims
- Human Trafficking
- Office for Victim Assistance