Human Trafficking, person carrying bricks

Trafficking in Persons involves the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons through force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of exploitation in forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry worldwide and affects the most vulnerable in our societies, with more than 25 million people trafficked each year. Seventy percent of identified victims are women and girls. These horrific practices undermine the rule of law, corrupt global commerce, foster gender inequality, and threaten global security.

Since 2001, USAID has provided over $370 million in assistance to 88 countries and regions to fight human trafficking. We integrate our counter-trafficking efforts across Bureaus and sectors in coordination with the U.S. Government interagency and multiple external stakeholders. USAID’s Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) approach follows the 4Ps: Prevention of trafficking, Protection of victims and survivors, Prosecution of traffickers, and Partnerships for a strengthened response.

In 2011, USAID adopted a C-TIP Code of Conduct that prohibits all employees, contractors, subcontractors, grantees, and subgrantees from engaging in behaviors that facilitate or support TIP. All Agency employees are required to take the C-TIP Code of Conduct: Accountability in Action training. This 45-minute online training educates Agency personnel about what trafficking is and their responsibilities under the Code to help combat it; USAID personnel can access this training via USAID University. USAID also developed standard operating procedures to prevent and respond to human trafficking abuses by USAID contractors, sub-contractors, assistance recipients, and sub-recipients.

In 2012, USAID released its first comprehensive C-TIP Policy. This Policy was revised in 2021 to update the agency’s C-TIP efforts.

In 2013, USAID published a C-TIP Field Guide to educate USAID Mission personnel and partners about human trafficking and provide technical assistance to integrate, design, implement and monitor effective C-TIP programs. The Field Guide was revised in 2023 to reflect the updated Policy.

USAID is one of several U.S. government departments and agencies tasked with implementing C-TIP activities. The Agency participates in the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking (PITF), a Cabinet-level entity created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) to coordinate federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons. The PITF meets annually and is chaired by the Secretary of State. USAID is also a member of the Senior Policy Operating Group to Combat Trafficking in Persons (SPOG), a quarterly interagency convening established by the 2003 Reauthorization of the TVPA to implement the vision of the PITF.

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Trafficking is widespread in the fishing industry, particularly in Southeast Asia.

Resources and Training

USAID’s C-TIP Factsheet and Policy One Pager

USAID’s Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) Policy

C-TIP Field Guide


C-TIP Code of Conduct and Standard Operating Procedures: Contractor/Recipient Compliance

USAID Global Labor program

State Department Trafficking in Persons Reports

Executive Order on Strengthening Protections Against TIP in Federal Contracts

List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor (Department of Labor)

Sector Overview

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