ATEST SFOPS Appropriations Letter for FY 2018

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March 21, 2017

The Honorable Harold Rogers, Chair

House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

The Honorable Nita M. Lowey, Ranking Member
House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

The Honorable Lindsey Graham, Chairman
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Ranking Member
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Dear Chairmen Rogers and Graham and Ranking Members Lowey and Leahy:

On behalf of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) and the undersigned organizations, we are writing to urge you to fund important programs to combat human trafficking and forced labor in the FY 2018 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations bill and to include related Committee report language to further assist in anti-trafficking efforts.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (P.L. 113-4) validated the critical roles that the U.S State Department and USAID play in fighting this despicable crime that threatens the lives and well-being of children, women, and men across the globe, both abroad and in the United States.

As you begin to draft the FY 2017 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill, we ask that you consider funding and report language for the following programs important to combating human trafficking and forced labor:

Department of State

  1. State: End Modern Slavery Initiative

We request that the End Modern Slavery Initiative, authorized in the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act, be fully funded at the authorized level of $37,500,000. The End Modern Slavery Initiative creates a way for the U.S. to leverage its investment through marshaling of resources from other donor governments and the private sector to fund programs to combat sexual exploitation and forced labor around the world, gather data and establish best practices with civil society and national governments to significantly and measurably decrease the prevalence of modern slavery. Funding for the End Modern Slavery Initiative should complement existing anti-trafficking programs that address root causes while protecting existing human rights, development, humanitarian, and democracy assistance.

Proposed Bill Language:

Of the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading ‘‘Development Assistance’’ and “International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement”, in addition to funds made available to combat human trafficking under the headings “Development Assistance”, “Economic Support Fund”, “Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia” and “International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement”, not less than $37,500,000, to remain available until expended, shall be made available on a competitive basis for a grant or grants to support innovative strategies, on a cost-matching basis, that reduce the prevalence of modern slavery in targeted populations within partner countries (or jurisdictions thereof) with a high prevalence of modern slavery:

Proposed Report Language:

The Committee recommends $37,500,000 for a cost-matching grant program to end modern slavery, to be made available on an open and competitive basis.

  1. State: United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking

We request $500,000 to support the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking (“Council”). The Council provides advice and recommendations to the Senior Policy Operating Group and the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, as authorized by the Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Act (Sec. 115 of Public Law 114-22). Human trafficking survivors are in the best position to speak to policies that have the greatest impact and will effect real change. We applaud the U.S. Government for working with survivors, not only on their behalf. We strongly recommend additional funding to establish a Council that reflects the diverse backgrounds of survivors of trafficking — including foreign national and U.S. citizen survivors of sex and labor trafficking. This request would fund support staff for the Council convenings, Council members’ travel expenses and per diem, and other activities authorized by the Act.

Proposed Report Language:

The Committee supports the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, as authorized by Sec. 115 of P.L. 114-2.  The recommends $500,000 for the Council for support staff for Council convenings, Council members’ travel expenses and per diem, and other authorized activities.

  1. Global Human Trafficking Hotline

We request $300,000 for the Department of State to support the launch of the Global Human Trafficking Hotline referenced by the regulations implementing Executive Order 13627, Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts. These regulations, released in January 2015, require “a process for employees to report, without fear of retaliation, activity inconsistent with the policy prohibiting trafficking in persons, including a means to make available to all employees the hotline phone number of the Global Human Trafficking Hotline at 1–844–888–FREE and its email address at [email protected].” (FAR § 52.222-50(h)(3)(ii)).

The policy as outlined in FAR § 52.222-50(h)(3)(ii) can ultimately succeed only if workers have an independent channel of communication to report concerns. Providing access to a multimodal hotline (e.g. phone, email) gives contractor employees and agents an easy means to safely report any indication of exploitation or human trafficking in their workplace or community. We recognize that in order to build trust with workers who may fear retaliation they must receive swift and sustained support.

Proposed Report Language:

The Committee recommends $300,000 to launch the Global Human Trafficking Hotline to provide a confidential and independent hotline for employees to report, without fear of retaliation, activity inconsistent with the policy prohibiting trafficking in persons, including a means to make available to all employees the hotline phone number and email address.

  1. State: Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) Administration

There is a growing awareness of the problem of human trafficking and forced labor in countries around the world, but many countries lack the resources needed to help combat the problem. J/TIP provides the resources and tools that are often needed in many of these countries. J/TIP is already funding projects in over 76 countries in an effort to assist governments with the will to change but that lack the financial resources of doing so. According to a 2012 Inspection of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, released by the State Department Inspector General (IG), U.S. grant funding to assist Tier 2 and Tier 2 Watch List countries has been cut significantly at a time when U.S. leadership continues to elevate worldwide trafficking awareness.

We request $12,500,000 for J/TIP for combatting human trafficking. J/TIP needs additional resources to ensure that the United States government continues to be a strong leader on these issues. The IG report asserts that the assessment and evaluation methodology related to the tier ranking system of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended, is not well understood among other State Department offices outside of J/TIP, which leads to challenges with implementation. Resources are needed to improve collaboration with the posts and regional bureaus and enable J/TIP to encourage foreign governments to comply with the minimum standards in the TVPA and implementation of the tier ranking system. Additional resources will enable J/TIP to provide additional expertise in prosecution and prevention strategies; address performance gaps, particularly for Tier 2 Watch List countries; and support ongoing reporting and grant functions to achieve the TVPA’s standards and building in-country capacity. These grants in Tier 2 Watch List countries are increasingly effective because they are leveraged with diplomatic and fiscal pressure as Tier 2 Watch List countries are subject to the “auto-downgrade provision” and future sanctions.

Additionally, this funding would help support the President’s Interagency Task Force. Under the original TVPA, J/TIP is responsible for convening this task force, which coordinates anti-trafficking efforts across the U.S. Government.

Proposed Report Language:

The Committee recommendation includes $12,500,000 for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. 

  1. State: International Narcotics and Law Enforcement TIP Grants

We request $45,000,000 for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to award grants to U.S.-based and foreign non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGO), public international organizations (PIO), and universities to fight human trafficking internationally through preventative workshops, training workshops for law enforcement, and legal and strategic support. These grants provide very specific support to law enforcement to help train and educate officers on how to recognize trafficking and forced labor, how to investigate it, assist with prosecutions, and how to assist victims.

This funding is needed to continue essential work, which previously included programs in 21 target countries. These projects included: working to reduce trafficking in mining zones in DRC; scaling up child protection systems in Mauritania to prevent and combat child trafficking; improving the identification of, and the provision of services to, trafficking victims for forced labor in the garment/textile, domestic work, and agricultural sectors in Jordan; and labor trafficking of men into the fishing industry in Thailand. Additional funding is also needed to respond to new challenges, particularly online commercial sexual exploitation of children, both girls and boys, in the Philippines.

These funds are critical to ensuring that victims are identified and protected, traffickers are convicted, and systems and policies are in place to prevent future trafficking. In 2015, only 77,823 victims of human trafficking were identified globally, of an estimated 21 million. This amounts to less than 0.4% of victims. Additionally, the 2016 TIP Report states that in 2015 there were an estimated 18,930 prosecutions and 6,609 convictions of traffickers globally. Prosecution and prevention efforts should be expanded and strengthened given the global magnitude of human trafficking.

We also request an additional $5,000,000 be designated specifically for Child Protection Compacts. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-4), the State Department is authorized to provide assistance for each country that enters into a child protection compact with the United States to support policies and programs that prevent and respond to violence, exploitation, and abuse against children; and measurably reduce the trafficking of minors, by building sustainable and effective systems of justice, prevention, and protection. The assistance can be provided in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts to or with national governments, regional or local governmental units, or non-governmental organizations with expertise in the protection of victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons. In 2015, J/TIP administered the first Child Protection Compacts in Ghana through the award of cooperative agreements. In FY 2016, Congress appropriated $5 million for a second Child Protection Compact, and we are encouraged by the progress J/TIP has made in the selection process of choosing the second country in which to administer this money. We look forward to the announcement of the country later this year. We recommend that additional funding is made available for another country to be chosen in FY 2018 and that J/TIP continues to be the implementing agency of the Child Protection Compacts and that sufficient funding is appropriated to allow them to fulfill this mandate.

Proposed Report Language:

Of the amounts provided for activities to combat trafficking in persons internationally, $45,000,000 is included under International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement.

The Committee directs that $5,000,000 be made available for child protection compacts. The Committee expects that funds will be prioritized for countries with the greatest need and to continue to support child protection compacts pursuant to Public Law 113– 94.

  1. State: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Of the amounts provided for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), we request $10,000,000 specifically for activities to support labor rights, labor recruitment reform, and corporate accountability activities, as well as efforts to combat gender-based violence. These important programs strengthen multi-stakeholder engagement on labor and sexual exploitation in supply chains (including of products or services exported to the United States). Examples of these programs include anti-child labor initiatives in cotton and cocoa, efforts to support Brazil’s national plan against slave labor, capacity building for local labor monitoring and worker organizations, efforts to combat entrenched forms of slavery in Mauritania, Mali and Senegal, and initiatives to address the particular vulnerability of migrant workers and other vulnerable populations to forced labor and other forms of abuse and exploitation.

Proposed Report Language:

The Committee recommendation includes $10,000,000 for activities to support labor rights, labor recruitment reform, and corporate accountability activities.

  1. State: Migration and Refugee Assistance — Program on Migration

We request $800,000 for the Program on Migration, implemented through funding to the International Organization on Migration (IOM), within Migration and Refugee Assistance, to ensure continued services to support family reunification efforts for human trafficking survivors in the United States throughout the year. Services for human trafficking survivors’ family members sponsored by this program are unique in that they provide on-the-ground assistance for human trafficking survivors’ families around the world and ensure that families can be reunited after years of separation.

Overall, the demand for IOM’s assistance has been consistently high for the past 3 years with the agency helping almost 500 derivative family members annually. IOM is receiving more requests for assistance from across the United States. Requests for assistance have steadily increased over five years. In 2011 IOM received only 139 requests; yet in 2015, IOM received 496 requests. This is a 357% increase in requests. Funding must keep pace with these requests; otherwise, IOM will face challenges meeting survivors’ families’ needs, such as in 2013 when IOM ran a waitlist of over 149 family members, and trafficking victims were notified that there would be no support for family reunification.

Proposed Report Language:

The Committee recommendation includes no less than $800,000 for the Program on Migration implemented through the International Organization on Migration.

United States Agency for International Development

  1. USAID: Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) — Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP)

Effective integration of robust C-TIP Policies and activities across the range of USAID assistance programs would: (a) ensure that foreign assistance efforts do not inadvertently leave vulnerable community members behind, or even increase their vulnerability, (b) generate new avenues and opportunities to maximize the impact on trafficking issues of US interventions, budgetary investment, and activities, and enhance the impact of existing interventions, and c) help reinforce and support broader development objectives. Advancing these goals is a matter of efficiency and effectiveness of taxpayer investment, as well as a critical component of advancing counter-trafficking policy and American leadership on the international stage.

Within the budget for Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), we request $1,800,000 to continue to support such efforts to integrate counter-trafficking in persons work into other Agency programs both at headquarters and within missions, including but not limited to health, food security, and economic development.

While we support USAID’s 2012 Counter-Trafficking in Persons Policy it appears that implementation of this critical policy, which includes a C-TIP integration strategy is lagging, and field operations are not reflecting significant integration. Therefore, we additionally request that a greater emphasis be placed on implementation of the anti-trafficking strategy in the field by requiring USAID Missions located in Tier 2, Tier 2-Watch List and Tier 3 countries to have a dedicated FTE for anti-trafficking programs and by requiring mandatory training in anti-trafficking policies and programs for USAID staff in these countries, and that future Country Development Coordination Strategies in these countries include a robust C-TIP analysis component. It is critical that all USAID staff operating in Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List, and Tier 3 countries know, understand, and implement the Agency’s anti-trafficking policies and integration strategy that cut across all divisions and programs so that they are able to effectively report on program successes.

Proposed Report Language:

The Committee recommends $1,800,000 to integrate counter-trafficking in persons work into other Agency programs both at headquarters and within missions, including but not limited to health, food security, and economic development.

  1. USAID: DCHA — Global Labor Program

We request $10,000,000 to USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) for the Global Labor Program (GLP). The GLP plays a crucial role in addressing the underlying root causes of human trafficking and strengthens labor rights and workers’ organizations around the world.

The GLP strengthens human trafficking prevention initiatives by supporting programs that improve the economic, social, and democratic development of vulnerable workers, such as migrant, informal economy, and women workers. These workers are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, forced labor, and gender-based violence. The GLP also supports country-based regional and global programs on adherence to core labor standards. The GLP is an official long-standing USAID program, funded out of the Human Rights and Democracy Fund, through five-year cooperative agreements. The operational office for the program is the Center for Excellence in Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG) at USAID, which is part of the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA).

Proposed Report Language:

The Committee recommends $10,000,000 to implement the Global Labor Program within the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance to increase technical assistance in trade partner countries on worker rights and gender programming. The Global Labor Program is critical to addressing the root causes of human trafficking, strengthening worker and labor rights, and improving trade partnerships around the world.

  1. USAID Spend Plan and Integrated Programming Transparency on Human Trafficking and TIP Integrated Funding and Activities

In order for Congress, the public, and advocacy community to better understand spending and the current state of integration of the C-TIP activities at the mission level, we request that you include report language within the Funds Appropriated to the President, Operating Expenses, seeking a detailed report on the obligation of all anti-trafficking funds and inclusion of anti-trafficking programs in future annual budget submissions. In addition, we request that you include language requiring USAID to develop a mechanism to report out on instances where larger program investments are being leveraged to accomplish some limited C-TIP activity, other than reporting out a percentage of budget spent through simple attribution. USAID should develop a category of attribution, “TIP Integrated Development Programs,” which would include, though not be limited to, any programming to address health, food security, economic development, education, democracy and governance, and humanitarian assistance that includes a threshold of significant C-TIP elements integrated in the program design and/or delivery. The USAID Administrator should set that threshold. This information will prove critical in understanding spending of taxpayer dollars on C-TIP activities, as well as what broader programming is being leveraged, and where C-TIP elements can be targeted for integration.

Proposed Report Language:

The Committee directs the Administrator to report to the Committees on Appropriations no later than 120 days following enactment of this Act, on the obligation of all funds expended by the Agency to combat human trafficking and forced labor for FY 2015 and FY 2016. The report shall include a breakdown of funds by division, program and project as well as a detailed report on the Agency’s management structure for obligating funds for these activities. In addition, the Committee urges the Administrator to include detailed and specific budget information on all anti-trafficking and anti-slavery programs and expenditures in future budget submissions. 

As leaders in countering trafficking in persons, you understand the complexities of these issues and the resources needed to respond to these problems. We have vetted our requests to focus on the most important and effective programs in the State Department and USAID related to human trafficking. We thank you for your consideration of these requests and your continued leadership in fighting the scourge of human trafficking, forced labor, and modern slavery. If you have any questions, please contact Melysa Sperber, ATEST Director, at [email protected] or (631) 374-0749.


Adrian Dominican Sisters Portfolio Advisory Board

AIDS Alabama

Ann Weinman, Retired Judge

Benedictine Sisters of Chicago

Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition

Boys & Girls Clubs of Harrison-Crawford Counties

California NOW

Catholic Health Initiatives

Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Central Valley Justice Coalition

Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM)

Changing Destinies Ministry

Chicago Benedictines for Peace

Children’s Advocacy Institute

Church Women United in New York State

Civil Society

Coalition Against Trafficking & Exploitation

Coalition for Juvenile Justice

Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking

Community Youth Services

Congregation of Holy Faith

CREA: Center for Reflection, Education and Action

Daughters of Charity

Daughters of Charity – Province of St. Louise

Dignity Health

Dominican Sisters of Hope

Douglas County Human Trafficking Task Force

Durham County Task Force Against Child Sexual Exploitation


Edmund Rice International

ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now

Episcopal Diocese of New York Task Force Against Human Trafficking

Equinox Domestic Violence Services

Franciscan Action Network

Freedom From Exploitation, Inc.

Freedom Network USA

Free the Slaves

Freedom United

Futures Without Violence


Genocide Watch

Girl Up

Global Rights for Women

GoodWeave International

HEAL Trafficking

Healthy Teen Network

Holy Family Convent

Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters – USA- Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

Hope for San Diego

Horizons Cambodia

Human Trafficking Search

Humans for Justice

IF Hummingbird Foundation

IL Women Religious Against Human Trafficking

Illinois Women Religious Against Human Trafficking

Illinois Collaboration on Youth

Illinois Women Religious Against Human Trafficking

Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program

Indiana Youth Services Association

International Council of Jewish Women

International Institute of Buffalo

International Justice Mission (IJM)

International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF)

International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA)

Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA)

Jewish Women’s Theater

Justice for Families

Justice in Motion

Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee of St. Louis and Associates

Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking

Law Offices of Laura J. Snoke

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Life 107 Ministries

LifeWay Network

Loma Linda University Church


Loving Arms, Inc.

Loyola University Modern Slavery Research Project

Mark P. Lagon, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; former Ambassador-At-Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Maternal and Child Health Access

Mercy Investment Services

Mosaic Family Services

My Life My Choice

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Council of Jewish Women

National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)

National Network for Youth (NN4Y)

National Runaway Safeline

National Safe Place Network

Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies

New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment

On Eagles Wings Ministries

Pacific Survivor Center

Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association.

PeterCares House


Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Presbyterian Church (USA) Washington Office of Public Witness

Project IRENE

Project Oz

Rabbinical Assembly

Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary NGO – Stop Trafficking

Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Western American Province

Religious of the Sacred Heart, Redwood City, CA

Religious Sisters of Charity

Ruth Ellis Center

Safe Horizon

Salvatorian Advocacy for Victims of Exploitation Inc.

School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province Human Trafficking Committee

School Sisters of St. Francis

SchoolHouse Connection


Shared Hope International

Sisters of St. Francis

Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco, CA

Slavery Today Journal

Society of the Holy Child Jesus, American Province

Solidarity Center

St. Mary of the Lake Human Trafficking Working Group

StandUp For Kids National

Temple Isaiah Abolition of Human Trafficking Initiative

Thai Community Development Center

The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart

The Healing Center

The Human Trafficking Prevention Project at the University of Baltimore School of Law

The Lifeboat Project, Inc.

The National Crittenton Foundation

The United Methodist Church, Church and Society

There Is Hope For Me, Inc.

Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children

Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment

Truckers Against Trafficking

U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking

U.S. Fund for UNICEF

U.S. National Committee for UN Women

Union for Reform Judaism

Union of Presentation Sisters, USA Province

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

United Way Worldwide

Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province


Vida Legal Assistance Inc.

Vital Voices Global Partnership

Washington University School of Medicine

WestCoast Children’s Clinic

Wisconsin Association for Runaway Services


Women of Reform Judaism

Worker Justice Center of New York, Inc.


Xaverian Brothers


YWCA NorthEastern NY

Zoë Ministries, Inc.



ATEST is a U.S.-based coalition that advocates for solutions to prevent and end all forms of human trafficking and modern slavery around the world. ATEST member organizations include: Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), ECPAT­USA, Free the Slaves, Futures Without Violence (FUTURES), International Justice Mission, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), National Network for Youth (NN4Y), Polaris, Safe Horizon, Solidarity Center, Verité, and Vital Voices Global Partnership. ATEST is a project of Humanity United Action.