U.S. State Department and University of Georgia to Host Virtual Prevalence Reduction Innovation Forum on Human Trafficking

Channel 1 Los Angeles

05/19/2020 03:30 PM EDT


Office of the Spokesperson

For years, those working to combat human trafficking have struggled to know which projects and interventions are most effective to reduce the prevalence of the crime. Without effective measurement it is difficult to know which activities are making a difference and which ones need to be refocused. To address this gap, the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) has committed $5 million toward groundbreaking new research in the field of human trafficking prevalence measurement.

The TIP Office is partnering with the University of Georgia African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery to host the Prevalence Reduction Innovation Forum, May 20 in a virtual environment. This forum will launch a program of new research and compare various methodologies to measure the prevalence of human trafficking. Event participants will include leaders, researchers, and policy experts from around the world dedicated to the fight against human trafficking. Registration for the event is free.

Research projects funded as part of the Prevalence Forum employ multiple methodologies in geographically limited and industry-specific frameworks. All the prevalence studies will use a common statistical definition that is faithful to the United Nationals Protocol on Trafficking in Persons and the United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act.  The studies will not focus on measuring mere vulnerabilities to traffickers, but measure incidents of the crime itself.

During the Forum launch event, five research teams, including teams from the Freedom Fund, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Johns Hopkins University, Non-partisan and Objective Research Organization at the University of Chicago, Stanford University, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, will discuss paradigms of research in highly specific sectors in the following cities and regions: Recife, Brazil; the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica; Dar es Salaam, Iringa, and Zanzibar, Tanzania; Casablanca, Morocco; Tunis, Tunisia; and Sindh Province, Pakistan. A sixth team, from Stanford University, will discuss its study in Brazil, which will be at the national level.

One of the most anticipated contributions of the new research being conducted through the Prevalence Forum is the meta-analysis of the methodologies employed by each team. The findings of this meta-analysis will be presented at a final conference in the spring of 2022.

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