E. Department of State Multilateral Affairs
X. Intra- and Interagency Coordination
Federal agencies were involved in numerous intra- and interagency activities during FY 2012. Activities included the following:
President’s Interagency Task Force and Senior Policy Operating Group
On March 15, 2012, in advance of the meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), President Obama issued a statement (available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/15/statement-president-meeting-interagency-task-force-monitor-and-combat-tr), directing the PITF to find ways to strengthen its current work, and expand its partnerships with civil society and the private sector.
Recognizing that more resources should be brought to bear in fighting human trafficking, the President underscored the United States’ commitment to fighting human trafficking at home and abroad by calling on a broad coalition of local communities, faith-based and non-governmental organizations, schools, and businesses to partner with the government in the effort.
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired the Obama Administration’s third meeting of the PITF on March 15, 2012—the first to take place at the White House and the first to be broadcast via the web. Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, opened the meeting and discussed the importance of the issue to President Obama, and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough stressed that human trafficking is a national security priority.
Cabinet members and other agency designees discussed a range of issues, including federal procurement policy and strategies for slavery free supply chains, plans for streamlining federal criminal investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking offenses, and training for federal acquisitions professionals on zero tolerance in government contracts.
On September 25, 2012, President Obama delivered a major policy speech at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on U.S. governmental efforts to end human trafficking, and announced a number of new and strengthened initiatives (available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/25/remarks-president-clinton-global-initiative). Building on his statement from March, the President directed the PITF to take additional concrete steps by focusing the federal government’s efforts on providing tools and training to identify and assist trafficking victims while increasing resources, and developing a comprehensive plan for future action. Federal agencies have responded by evaluating their policies and programs and increasing their efforts to expand services and legal assistance to victims; eliminate governmental contractor abuse; train federal prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and others; and establish innovative public-private partnerships.
On the same day, President Obama signed E.O. 13627, Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts, bolstering the U.S. government’s policy against trafficking in persons in governmental contracting. The E.O. outlines prohibitions on trafficking-related activities that will apply to all federal contractors and subcontractors, requires compliance measures for large overseas contracts and subcontracts, and provides federal
agencies with additional tools to foster compliance. Federal agencies worked closely with a White House team to draft the E.O.
Working under the direction of the White House Domestic Policy Council, federal agencies contributed to the development of a strategic action plan that identifies and prioritizes victim service needs, outlines specific federal action to enhance services, and creates measurable benchmarks for progress.
Anti-trafficking Coordination Teams
Components from DOJ, DHS, and DOL participated in ACTeams. As discussed above (see Part VIII.A.3), the ACTeams operate as federal task forces, with a mission to share case information, de-conflict, share databases, develop strategic investigative and operational
planning, and develop intelligence for dissemination throughout each respective organization. In FY 2012, the agencies collaborated to develop curriculum for advanced human trafficking training for ACTeam participants. In September 2012, the first of those trainings were conducted at the FLETC for the ACTeams from Atlanta and Los Angeles.
In FY 2012, DOJ components, including CEOS, Office of the Deputy Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs, and CRT, participated in congressional briefings on human trafficking enforcement efforts and on the reauthorization of the TVPA.
In FY 2012, DOS’s TIP Office met with staff and members of Congress to discuss human trafficking issues, proposed legislation that would impact anti-trafficking efforts, and the
reauthorization of the TVPA. Additionally, as noted above (see Part VIII.D.3.a), Ambassador CdeBaca testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights, along with the Assistant Secretaries from the Bureaus of East Asia Pacific and of South and Central Asia, to discuss the annual TIP Report. Ambassador CdeBaca also testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform, along with counterparts from DOD and DOS, to discuss trafficking in persons and governmental procurement and contracting.
Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
In September 2012, at the quarterly meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (whose members include ex officio members representing the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security, and Labor), members of the working group of OJJDP’s National Girls Institute joined other experts to brief officials from across the federal government on the risk
factors that lead girls into the juvenile justice system and to discuss policies and practices at the federal, state, and local levels in need of reform to better meet girls’ needs. Child trafficking was a key focus of discussion. The council heard testimony and recommendations from practitioners, experts and advocates, including Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew, who was sex-trafficked for seven years starting at the age of 10. Today, at age 23, she is a nationally recognized youth advocate and member of the board of directors of the Human Rights Project for Girls.
EEOC’s Immigrant Worker Team
The EEOC’s Immigrant Worker Team lead coordinator met with representatives from federal agencies such as DOS’s TIP Office, DOL, and DOJ’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to discuss collaborative efforts on issues affecting immigrant workers, including victims of human trafficking. Topics discussed include identifying and developing trafficking cases in the employment context, and discussion of litigation strategies, including discovery issues involving trafficking cases as well as
representation of immigrant workers. The lead coordinator also provided information to these agencies regarding the EEOC’s certification process for U visas.
Federal Agency Task Force on Missing and Exploited Children
CEOS and OJJDP participated in quarterly meetings of the Federal Agency Task Force on Missing and Exploited Children, which meets to share information, develop strategies, and coordinate efforts.
Federal Enforcement Working Group
DOJ, DHS, and DOL collaborated through the Federal Enforcement Working Group to enhance coordination among federal prosecutors and federal agents through the launch of pilot interagency ACTeams. These teams will develop and implement coordinated interagency investigation and prosecution strategy.
Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center
The HSTC—an interagency body comprising representatives from the law enforcement, diplomatic, and intelligence communities—brings together subject matter experts from the participating agencies to facilitate the exchange of strategic and tactical information in a coordinated manner that supports the U.S. strategy to investigate and prosecute criminals involved in human trafficking.
In order to develop leads and disseminate information, the HSTC analyzes the human trafficking data of its participating agencies as well as intelligence reports in classified and unclassified systems. The HSTC reviews information for potential human trafficking indicators, performs preliminary checks to follow up on that information, and, when warranted, ensures the information is delivered to the appropriate parties for further investigation. The HSTC also analyzes open-source, law enforcement, and intelligence information to identify trafficking trends.
In combating the trafficking of foreign victims, the HSTC works with international police agencies and provides a mechanism for the exchange of information between the United States and its allies. The HSTC is a centralized point of contact for INTERPOL on trafficking matters for the federal government and participates in the INTERPOL Working Group on Trafficking in Human Beings. The HSTC’s associate membership status to EUROPOL enables access to restricted analysis work files concerning human smuggling and trafficking events. In FY 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano and Attorney General Holder signed on behalf of the HSTC a memorandum of understanding with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to promote the sharing of human trafficking information between the HSTC and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre.
The HSTC established an interagency working group and began collecting data from more than a dozen federal agencies for a first-ever, interagency domestic human trafficking assessment for law enforcement, policymakers, and other federal stakeholders. The assessment will help the federal government allocate law enforcement and other resources by identifying existing and emerging hotspots for trafficking activity across the United States and revealing trends and patterns in victim recruitment and exploitation.
The HSTC drafted a Collection Support Brief on human trafficking. The Collection Support Brief is a primer on global human trafficking and will complement the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s expanded human trafficking intelligence strategy. In addition, the HSTC attended several interagency meetings throughout the intelligence
community (IC) to provide background and information on human trafficking issues. The HSTC also collaborated with IC partners in providing input to reports to raise awareness of human trafficking within the IC.
The HSTC produced 13 unclassified strategic assessments in FY 2012 that evaluated key trends in trafficking in persons, as well as human smuggling, in different regions of the world.
Innocence Lost Working Group
During FY 2012, several federal agencies participated on the Innocence Lost Working Group, which brings together governmental and nongovernmental agencies that dedicate resources to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States. The Working Group comprises DOJ, including CEOS and the FBI; DOS; HHS; DHS ICE; the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Polaris Project; the National District Attorneys Association; Salvation Army; and Catholic Charities. The group met quarterly to share information, develop strategies, and coordinate efforts.
Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces
In FY 2012, OJJDP funded the 61 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces, which represent more than 3,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. These task forces are dedicated to developing effective responses to the online enticement of children by sexual predators, child exploitation, and child obscenity and
pornography cases. Since the program’s inception, the ICAC task forces have reviewed more 96
than 324,474 complaints of alleged child sexual victimization, resulting in the arrest of more than 33,541 individuals. In addition, approximately 280,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and other professionals have been trained through the ICAC program. The task forces are a critical component of the Attorney General’s National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction.
National Strategy Working Group for the Prevention of Child Exploitation
CEOS and DOJ’s OJJDP served as co-chairs of the National Strategy Working Group for the Prevention of Child Exploitation, Subcommittee on Research Grant Planning. The Working Group met to develop, formulate, and assess the congressionally mandated National Strategy to Combat Child Exploitation.