The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced almost $87 million in funding to combat human trafficking, provide supportive services to trafficking victims throughout the United States and conduct research into the nature and causes of labor and sex trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a global problem that reaches into many of our nation’s communities, causing victims unimaginable harm, violating basic human rights and undermining fundamental principles of dignity and justice,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “These awards reflect the Justice Department’s commitment to helping our state and local partners shut down trafficking operations and deliver the relief and support that survivors need and deserve.”
OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) continues to manage the largest amount of federal funding dedicated to providing services to victims of human trafficking. OVC strengthens the victim service response to human trafficking through grant funding, training and technical assistance and leadership in the field. For example, OVC-funded human trafficking task forces initiated more than 2,800 new investigations nationwide between June 2019 and July 2020, and its victim service grant programs reached nearly 10,000 clients over a 12-month period. OJP’s investments figure prominently in the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking released by the White House on Dec. 3. The plan lays out a broad-based, multi-disciplinary, whole-of-government approach to addressing human trafficking and its harmful impacts on crime victims, communities and national security.
“Victims of human trafficking suffer unspeakable trauma while being systematically and cruelly denied their most fundamental emotional and material needs,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon for OJP. “These awards will provide housing, counseling, legal aid and other services that can help survivors reclaim their lives.”
Grants awarded by OVC aim to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to survivors of human trafficking. OJP’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) provides funding to support research and evaluation projects designed to inform anti-trafficking efforts. Specific programs include the following:
- Under the Services for Victims of Human Trafficking program, OVC awarded approximately $22 million to develop, expand or strengthen victim service programs for victims of human trafficking.
- Under the Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking program, OVC awarded approximately $22 million to develop, expand or strengthen a multidisciplinary approach to fight human trafficking.
- Under the Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking program, OVC awarded approximately $15 million to provide safe, stable housing and appropriate services to victims of human trafficking.
- Under the Services for Minor Victims of Sex Trafficking program, OVC awarded approximately $8 million to develop, expand or strengthen victim service programs for those whose victimizations occurred when they were under the age of 18.
- Under the Training and Technical Assistance for Human Trafficking Service Providers program, OVC awarded approximately $3 million to provide funding for training and technical assistance to service providers developing, strengthening or expanding programs for victims of human trafficking.
- Under the Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking program, OVC awarded approximately $2 million to improve responses to child and youth victims of trafficking, with a focus on coordination at the statewide or Tribal jurisdiction level.
- Under the Enhancing Juvenile and Family Court Responses to Human Trafficking program, OVC awarded approximately $2 million to develop and enhance programs to provide direct services and diversion programs for youth in contact with the juvenile and family court systems who are victims of sex or labor trafficking or at risk for human trafficking due to past or current crime victimization, including child abuse and neglect.
- Under the Field-Generated Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement program, OVC awarded approximately $2 million to develop innovative strategies and models to support jurisdictions engaged in identifying victims of human trafficking and investigating and prosecuting human trafficking and related crimes.
- Under the Services for Minor Victims of Labor Trafficking program, OVC awarded approximately $2 million to develop, expand or strengthen victim service programs for those whose victimizations occurred when they were under the age of 18.
- Under the Preventing Trafficking of Girls program, OVC awarded approximately $1 million to support prevention and early intervention programs for girls who are at-risk of, or are victims of, sex trafficking.
- Under the Law Enforcement Human Trafficking Fellowship Program, OVC awarded $400,000 to improve and expand the ability of law enforcement, prosecutors and OJP-funded human trafficking task forces nationwide to conduct and implement victim-centered and trauma-informed investigations and prosecutions.
- NIJ awarded more than $2.6 million under its Research and Evaluation of Trafficking in Persons portfolio to better understand, prevent and respond to trafficking in persons in the United States.
Information about the grantees selected under each solicitation can be found online at the OJP Grant Awards Page.
OJP provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.