Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) FY 2016
THE FUNDING NEED
$12,000,000 for J/TIP to administer international grant programs, support ongoing reporting requirements, and develop stronger prosecution and prevention strategies.
$3,000,000 and five full time equivalent (FTE) positions for J/TIP to establish a rapid response team with training and technical assistance capabilities to help write TIP laws, train law enforcement, establish fast-track courts, and advise the establishment of shelters overseas as unanticipated needs arise.
Summary of Program
Many countries lack the necessary resources to help combat human trafficking, modern slavery, and forced labor. J/TIP provides the resources and tools that are often needed in many of these countries. J/TIP currently funds projects in over 76 countries to assist governments with a will to change and economic need to improve their response to human trafficking. J/TIP’s International Programs Section administers a foreign assistance grant program that focuses on implementing the “4P” paradigm of prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership to eradicate all forms of human trafficking, as outlined under the TVPA.
In 2010, J/TIP awarded approximately $21,000,000 in federal funding to combat trafficking. J/TIP has supported more than 340 projects in over 70 countries, totaling $97,300,000, between FY 2009 and FY 2013. Partnering with civil society and multilateral organizations, the Office funds anti-trafficking programmatic efforts to address issues or deficiencies identified in the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
A majority of programmatic efforts are strategically placed in countries that are identified as Tier 3 or are on the Tier 2 Watch List, but some Tier 2 countries also receive foreign assistance program funds. In addition to tier ranking, the Office also considers the country’s financial resources and need for additional expertise in human trafficking issues, a government’s political will to address trafficking in persons, and other funding that may be already used to address trafficking in the country.
The J/TIP Office was established in 2001 (then “G/TIP”) in response to the TVPA of 2000. Its mission is to work with other governments, international organizations, and civil society actors to eradicate modern slavery by prosecuting traffickers, protecting victims, and preventing trafficking in persons. In FY 2011, J/TIP worked to assess the increasing number of countries ranked in the annual TIP Report by engaging others in conducting improved monitoring and evaluation. In recent years, J/TIP has struggled to meet its mandates under the TVPA.
J/TIP needs additional resources to ensure that the United States government continues to be a strong leader on these issues. J/TIP has a unique opportunity to implement key new initiatives authorized by the TVPRA of 2013, but only if it has the resources necessary to implement them. Specifically, the office needs funding to recruit staff with functional expertise in prosecution and prevention strategies to assist countries on the Watch List in addressing performance gaps. The increase will also support ongoing reporting and grant functions, vital to the office’s efforts to encourage progress in achieving minimum standards and building in-country capacity.
J/TIP is at the forefront of improving foreign government responses to human trafficking through its annual publishing of the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The Department of State compiles information into the TIP Report from foreign governments, U.S. embassies, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, reports, news articles, academic studies, and research trips. It serves as one of the world’s most comprehensive and credible resources on the scope of the problem in more than 160 countries around the world and of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts. Consequently, the TIP Report makes a significant impact on global government responses and actions with respect to human trafficking. 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.
ATEST requests $12,000,000 for the administration of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, including additional staff and programmatic support. Additional funding for J/TIP is needed:
- To support overseas travel to improve collaboration with the posts and regional bureaus, and enable J/TIP to further its diplomatic efforts to encourage foreign governments to comply with the minimum standards in the TVPA and implementation of the tier ranking system.
- To enable recruitment of full time employees with functional expertise in prosecution and prevention strategies, to assist in addressing performance gaps, particularly for Tier 2 Watch List countries.
- To support ongoing reporting and grant functions vital to the office’s efforts to encourage progress in achieving the TVPA’s standards and building in-country capacity. These efforts with Tier 2 Watch List countries are increasingly important as countries are subject to the “auto-downgrade provision” and future sanctions.
- To support the President’s Interagency Task Force. Under the original TVPA, J/TIP is responsible for convening and leading this task force, which coordinates anti-trafficking efforts across the U.S. Government, including both domestically and abroad. However, more resources are needed for this critical function.
- To fund the emergency response mechanism created under the 2013 TVPRA to deploy a rapid response team to assist foreign governments to prevent and respond to trafficking in persons in the aftermath of a conflict or natural disaster.
In recent years, J/TIP has struggled with meager funding to implement its mandates under the TVPA. At the same time, J/TIP has been a global leader in the movement to combat human trafficking. It is imperative that as the office grows, it is provided with adequate funding to meet its mandates.
We also request $3,000,000 and five full time equivalent (FTE) positions for the Emergency Capacity Fund for J/TIP to establish a rapid response team with training and technical assistance capabilities to help write TIP laws, train law enforcement, establish fast-track courts, and advise the establishment of shelters overseas as unanticipated needs arise. Authorized in the most recent 2013 TVPRA, these funds will help J/TIP respond to crises like the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines or an increase in violence in Central America and to respond to other requests for assistance from foreign governments.