Publication Date



[Excerpt] Trafficking in persons, or human trafficking, refers to the subjection of men, women, and children to exploitative conditions that may be tantamount to slavery. Reports suggest that human trafficking is a global phenomenon, victimizing millions of people each year and contributing to a multi-billion dollar criminal industry. Common forms of human trafficking include trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, and debt bondage. Other forms of human trafficking include trafficking for domestic servitude and the use of children in armed conflict (e.g., child soldiers).

Although there is widespread support among policy makers for U.S. anti-trafficking goals, ongoing reports of continued trafficking worldwide raise questions regarding whether sufficient progress has been made to deter and ultimately eliminate the problem. This report provides an overview of recent global trends and U.S. foreign policy responses to address human trafficking. The report focuses in particular on efforts conducted by the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) and the President’s Interagency Task Force (PITF) on human trafficking, as well as discussion of the 2016 TIP Report. An Appendix includes the status of legislation introduced in the 114th Congress on international dimensions of human trafficking.


Suggested Citation
Rosen, L. W. (2016). Trafficking in persons and U.S. foreign policy responses in the 114th Congress (CRS Report R44581). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.