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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Statement Regarding Anti-Trafficking Executive Order

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Trump has taken an enormous step forward in the fight against human trafficking by issuing the Combatting Human Trafficking and Online Child Exploitation in the United States Executive Order. This order comes twenty years after the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which greatly strengthened federal criminal prohibitions against trafficking and related offenses. This order builds on efforts stemming from that law to improve protection, prosecution, prevention, and partnerships in response to this scourge.

Efforts include the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiatives, which streamline federal criminal investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking offenses. Investigators from the department’s Wage and Hour Division and Occupational Safety and Health Administration are often the first government authorities to witness exploitation in the workplace, and the department focuses its efforts on referring these cases for prosecution so that traffickers are brought to justice and survivors are protected. The department’s Employment and Training Administration also leverages its employment and training resources and expertise to help survivors of trafficking reenter the workforce and move on with their lives when they are ready to do so.

Globally, the department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) has been at the forefront of efforts to combat human trafficking abroad. ILAB provides important reporting on human trafficking and forced labor abroad to inform foreign government and private sector policies and procedures to combat trafficking. ILAB’s Sweat & Toil app puts over 1,000 pages of research on these issues in the palm of your hand. To help businesses identify risks and remediate trafficking abuses in their supply chains, ILAB has made information available through the department’s Comply Chain app.

A leading funder of programs to combat international labor exploitation, including human trafficking, ILAB has reduced exploitation in garment factories, brick kilns, cocoa fields, and other sectors around the world.

The department looks forward to joining forces with other government agencies to execute on the action items contained in this executive order, building on the robust efforts of the Trump administration to combat human trafficking at home and abroad.

The mission of ILAB is to promote a fair global playing field for workers in the U.S. and around the world by enforcing trade commitments, strengthening labor standards, and combating international child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking. For more information about the department’s work on these issues, visit

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs
January 31, 2020
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Contact: Emily Weeks
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