Research enables us to:
- Identify evidence-based practices to effectively assist individuals who have experienced trafficking
- Understand human trafficking victimization to inform targeted prevention and early intervention activities
- Make data available to those who want to end human trafficking
OTIP partners with multiple federal agencies and research institutions to support research on human trafficking through funding, technical assistance, and consultations.
Learn more about contributions of HHS and OTIP to human trafficking research, data collection, and evaluation.
Access a chart of all U.S. government funded research on human trafficking. To find out more information on a specific research report, please see the research links found in the chart or contact the authors directly.
Current HHS Research Projects
Estimating the Prevalence of Human Trafficking
At the White House Summit on Human Trafficking, the President announced an executive order directing the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Justice, State, and Homeland Security to improve methodologies to estimate the prevalence of human trafficking in the U.S. and beyond.
As part of the federal government’s commitment to estimating the prevalence of human trafficking:
- HHS held a workshop "Estimating the Prevalence of Human Trafficking in the United States: Considerations and Complexities," hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read the full report.
- The Department of State partnered with the University of Georgia and released a call for proposals to field test prevalence methodologies internationally. HHS will coordinate with the Departments of State and Justice to field test prevalence methodologies domestically.
State Requirements for Human Trafficking Data Collection
OTIP is researching the landscape of state legislation requiring assistance to victims and/or human trafficking data collection, with particular attention to privacy, security, and confidentiality policies and practices. The project includes a review of state legislation and interviews with anti-trafficking organizations, state agencies, and coalitions. The project is a partnership with the Office on Women’s Health and the Lovelight Foundation.
Pretesting a Human Trafficking Screening Tool in the Child Welfare and Runaway and Homeless Youth Systems
OTIP collaborated with other ACF partners in a project led by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to examine, create, and pre-test a screening tool to identify victims of human trafficking in youth-serving settings. Learn more here: Pretesting a Human Trafficking Screening Tool in the Child Welfare and Runaway and Homeless Youth Systems.
The ACF Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation is leading a project to identify the knowledge base related to human trafficking and child welfare, identify risk factors for trafficking using state administrative data systems, further test measures and promising models, and develop designs for studies to inform services related to human trafficking and the child welfare population.
The evaluation was led by the ACF Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) with key partners at the ACF Family and Youth Services Bureau and Office on Trafficking in Persons. Access the report for the rest of the story: Evaluation of Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking Demonstration Projects: Final Report from the First Cohort of Project, OPRE. Read the information memo summarizing evaluation results from the first and second cohorts of the DVHT demonstration projects.
Past HHS Research Projects
The HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation led a project to determine how HHS programs are addressing the needs of victims of human trafficking, including domestic victims (i.e., citizens and legal permanent residents), with a priority focus on domestic youth.
This document, published by the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE) in March 2016, outlines how different types of research and evaluation generate information and answer empirical questions related to the human services provided by the Administration for Children & Families (ACF).
This manual, published by the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE) in January 2010, provides guidelines for planning and implementing a program evaluation.