Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
July 23, 2008
The President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Senior Policy Operating Group
As the U.S. Government urges foreign governments to each build a strong interagency body to fight human trafficking, its own interagency working groups actively coordinate U.S. domestic and international efforts to eradicate human trafficking throughout the year.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 authorized the President to establish the President’s Interagency Task Force (PITF), a cabinet-level task force to coordinate federal efforts to combat human trafficking. The PITF is chaired by the Secretary of State and meets at least once a year.
In 2003, a senior working level group, the Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG), was created to follow up on PITF initiatives and to implement U.S. Government anti-trafficking policies and guidelines. The SPOG meets quarterly and is chaired by the Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Members of the PITF and SPOG include the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Defense together with the United States Agency for International Development, Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of the Directorate of National Intelligence. The National Security Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and the Department of Education also regularly participate.
The most recent PITF meeting was chaired by Secretary Condoleezza Rice on July 11, 2008. Participants included: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Chair; Attorney General Michael Mukasey; Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff; Assistant to the President on Domestic Policy Mr. Karl Zinsmeister; Deputy National Security Advisor Ambassador James Jeffrey; Deputy Secretary of Labor Mr. Howard Radzley; Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Tevi Troy; Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Policy, Plans, and Requirements Mr. David Shedd; Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Dr. David Chu; Associate Director for National Security Programs at the Office of Management and Budget Mr. Joseph Bowab; Acting Deputy USAID Administrator Mr. James Kunder; Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools Ms. Deborah Price; U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Mark Dybul; Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Dr. Paula Dobriansky; and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Ambassador Mark Lagon.
The PITF principals signed the Declaration of Achievements summarizing work of federal agencies to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent trafficking from 2001 to 2008. PITF principals also discussed recent initiatives and progress to combat human trafficking since the last PITF meeting in October 2007 and discussed a path forward on priorities for future efforts.