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Human Trafficking Policy and Research Analyses Project

Informing the development of anti-trafficking strategies, policies, and programs to prevent and respond to human trafficking

Human trafficking casts a wide net of harm to affected individuals, families, and communities. It is increasingly understood that addressing human trafficking requires a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach. Many questions remain as to the most effective ways to respond to human trafficking and protect communities at increased risk of human trafficking exploitation. Questions around effective strategies to prevent and respond to human trafficking guide this project, in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) and the Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP). The Human Trafficking Policy and Research Analyses Project advances the scope of knowledge and data around human trafficking by identifying priority areas for learning, and conducting a series of studies that can immediately impact practice. The RTI team has collaborated closely with OPRE and OTIP to identify five diverse projects:

  • Field test of two sampling methods to measure the prevalence of labor trafficking within the construction industry—This study will survey construction workers to learn about labor trafficking and labor exploitation experiences among individuals who work in construction. The goal of this study is to advance knowledge of promising methods for estimating human trafficking prevalence by comparing the estimates generated from two different sampling methods: convenience sampling (time-location sampling) and respondent-driven sampling.
  • Process evaluation of the Human Trafficking Youth Prevention Education (HTYPE) Demonstration Grant Program—This cross-site evaluation will describe the activities, challenges, and accomplishments of eight education agencies funded to partner with a nonprofit or NGO to build the capacity of schools to provide human trafficking prevention education for educators and other staff, and students, and establish a Human Trafficking School Safety Protocol that addresses the safety, security, and well-being of staff and students. 
  • Formative evaluation of the Demonstration Grants to Strengthen the Response to Victims of Human Trafficking in Native Communities—This cross-site, participatory and culturally-responsive evaluation will describe the activities, challenges, and accomplishments of projects funded to build, expand, and sustain organizational and local capacity to provide direct services, assistance, and referrals to Native Americans (i.e., American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and/or Pacific Islanders) who have experienced human trafficking. This evaluation is conducted in partnership with American Indian Development Associates (AIDA).
  • Creation of a Learning Agenda for OTIP—This activity, conducted in close partnership with OTIP, focuses on identifying knowledge gaps and developing and refining learning questions—ultimately leading to a learning agenda and action plan for OTIP. The goal of the learning agenda is to provide an actionable set of activities to answer questions that advance and are in direct alignment with OTIP’s mission and purpose.
  • Assessing the Current State of Economic Empowerment Programs for Victims of Human Trafficking – As part of the OTIP’s efforts to carry out E.O. 13985 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government), this project will focus on economic opportunity and empowerment for people who have experienced human trafficking. Guided by a participatory approach, this project involves an environmental scan and listening sessions with both individuals who have experienced human trafficking and the professionals who provide services to this population. The objective of this project is to compile a resource about promising practices related to economic opportunity programming for use by professionals who provide services to people who have experienced human trafficking.