The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) is pleased to announce five new awards under the Program to End Modern Slavery (PEMS), a program which aims to combine cutting-edge research and targeted programming to show a measurable reduction in human trafficking within designated countries, industries, or populations. Starting October 1, 2023, these programs will implement transformative approaches to combat human trafficking in Ethiopia, Nepal, Thailand, and Mexico through Intervention Development Research (IDR). IDR will allow implementers to better understand and design potential interventions for under-studied and particularly complex human trafficking scenarios. PEMS will also fund a Developmental Evaluator to support implementers by providing training and coaching to help assess the most effective anti-trafficking methodology and increase project impact.

2023 Program to End Modern Slavery Award Recipients:

La Isla Network received $3.9 million to address human trafficking among Nepali labor migrants. They will conduct research and develop and test a scalable intervention model that supports migrants at each stage of the migration process, from pre-departure training to safer conditions at work, and improved access to care and services upon return. They will partner with the Nepal Development Society, Bournemouth University, and Johns Hopkins University.

New York University received $3.9 million to develop innovative counter sex trafficking intervention activities in Thailand that address gaps to support populations that remain underserved and vulnerable to sex trafficking. This project will use the IDR process to research the population and context to then co-design, pilot, and refine activities which will increase access to safer work opportunities. They will partner with local organizations and University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Population Council received $3.1 million to address human trafficking within forced begging of people with disabilities in Ethiopia. They will work closely with local organizations and consult persons with lived experience of trafficking in the research, design, and piloting of interventions, which will be evaluated for impact and cost effectiveness. They will partner with local organizations including the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development and the Ethiopian Lawyers with Disabilities Association.

Urban Institute received $2.4 million to address agricultural labor trafficking in Mexico amongst vulnerable and underserved populations, including indigenous groups. This project plans to use the IDR process to fill critical gaps in addressing human trafficking through engaging communities, local organizations, and survivors. They will partner with Fundacion Bioma and Yale University.

National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago received $1 million to carry out a developmental evaluation of the four intervention development research projects identified above (benefiting Ethiopia, Nepal, Thailand, and Mexico). NORC will provide training and coaching to IDR implementers to help strengthen their IDR methodology and increase the effectiveness of their IDRs. In addition, NORC will synthesize and disseminate evidence on what works in developing effective IDR models in the anti-trafficking space.

For more information about each of these projects, please visit the PEMS website.