skip to content
Link to United States Department of Justice Home Page
United States Department of Justice Seal of the United States Department of Justice displayed against a background image of the U.S. flag
What We Do
bullet Combat Terrorism
bullet Apprehend Most-Wanted and Other Fugitives
bullet Locate Missing Persons
bullet Manage Prisons and Inmates
bullet Uphold Civil Rights & Liberties
bullet Uphold Disability Rights
bullet Operate Task Forces
bullet Help Victims of Crime
bullet Foster Safe Communities
bullet Combat Gang Violence
bullet Prevent Youth Violence
bullet Halt Domestic Violence
bullet Investigate Fraud
bullet Fight Trafficking in Persons
bullet Promote Dispute Resolution

Fight Trafficking in Persons

Report trafficking crimes or get help by calling the toll-free hotline
1-888-428-7581 (voice and TTY).

Para registrar su queja o obtener ayuda, llame gratis a

1-888-428-7581 (linea directa y de TTY para personas con incapacidad auditiva)

What is trafficking in persons?

Trafficking in persons — also known as "human trafficking" — is a form of modern-day slavery. Traffickers often prey on individuals who are poor, frequently unemployed or underemployed, and who may lack access to social safety nets, predominantly women and children in certain countries. Victims are often lured with false promises of good jobs and better lives, and then forced to work under brutal and inhuman conditions.

It is a high priority of the Department of Justice to pursue and prosecute human traffickers. Human trafficking frequently involves the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation, a brutal crime the Department is committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting. Trafficking also often involves exploitation of agricultural and sweatshop workers, as well as individuals working as domestic servants.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude. The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VTVPA) supplements existing laws and establishes new tools and resources to combat trafficking in persons and to provide services and protections for victims.

Reporting Trafficking Crimes

You can report trafficking crimes or get help by calling the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line at 1-888-428-7581 (voice and TTY). New laws provide options for trafficking victims regardless of immigration status. Operators have access to interpreters and can talk with callers in their own language. The service is offered on weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM EST. After these hours, information is available on tape in English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin.

You can also report suspected instances of trafficking or worker exploitation, by contacting the FBI field office nearest you.

Legislation and Policy

The Department strongly supports passage of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. Collected at this link are copies of the House and Senate bills, the Department's views letters on each, and other relevant material, including letters supporting the Department's position from law enforcement agencies, women's and immigrants' groups, crime victims' rights organizations, and policy experts.


The Civil Rights Division's Criminal Section has the primary enforcement responsibility for the involuntary servitude and peonage statutes. It works closely with the FBI, U.S. Attorneys Offices, and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section to investigate and prosecute cases of trafficking in persons and worker exploitation. The Civil Rights Division also funds and staffs the national complaint line for reporting trafficking crimes.

Protection for Victims

Victim Services

In FY 2003, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) made its first awards to various nongovernmental organizations for the purpose of providing trafficking victims with comprehensive or specialized services during the precertification phase, and for the purpose of providing grantees with training and technical assistance for program support and enhancement. OVC funds help victim service providers meet the challenge of addressing the complex and acute service needs of trafficking victims through the provision of:

  • Comprehensive services: Direct services mobilized by the grantee organization to meet the range of needs of trafficking victims. Comprehensive services include addressing the victim's basic needs for shelter, food, and clothing as well as case management, information and referral, legal assistance and advocacy, medical and dental services, mental health assessment and treatment, job skills training, transportation, and interpretation services.

  • Supplemental/specialized services: Direct services quickly mobilized, over a broad geographic area, in order to provide a single service such as housing, legal assistance, or medical care.

Technical Assistance

The Office on Violence against Women (OVW) provides grants and technical assistance to federal, state and local officials to help them respond to the needs and concerns of women who have been victimized by violence, and to develop effective criminal justice responses to violent crimes committed against women.

Prevention Through Outreach and Research

Prosecutors and other Justice Department personnel frequently assist in training local law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, and international representatives both in the United States and overseas on human trafficking issues.

The National Institute of Justice International Center supports research and exchange of information on activities by offering grants for academic research into the subjects of trafficking in persons and child exploitation.

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) in the Office of Justice Programs offers information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide on various criminal justice issues, including international trafficking.

Additional Information about Fighting Trafficking in Persons

For more information about the Department components that are most active in this area, consult the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Division, and the Office for Victims of Crime Web sites.

Contact Us   |   Accessibility   |   A-Z Index   |   Site Map  |   Archive   |   Privacy Policy  |   Legal Policies and Disclaimers
FOIA   |   For DOJ Employees   |   Other Government Resources   |   Office of the Inspector General   |   |   No FEAR Act