Program on Human Trafficking and Forced Labor



The FXB Center launched its Human Trafficking and Forced Labor Program in 2012 with the conviction that more effective and sustainable anti-trafficking strategies are critical to address the scourge of human trafficking worldwide. Under the leadership of Jacqueline Bhabha, FXB Director of Research, the program aims to provide the anti-trafficking community with cutting-edge research, advocacy, and training for the next generation of leaders in the field.


The Human Trafficking and Forced Labor Program seeks to prevent and intervene against human trafficking globally and in the United States. In collaboration with partners in the anti-trafficking community, the program conducts thorough analyses of the root causes of and vulnerabilities to trafficking, with a particular focus on children and young people trapped in abusive circumstances. By leveraging an innovative quantitative and qualitative approach, as well as FXB methodologies, the program endeavors to document human trafficking methodically and reliably to provide key policymakers and advocates with a powerful evidence base that can strengthen their work and inform effective policy responses.

The domestic component of the human trafficking program, provisionally targeting the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Cambridge, and New York, will conduct research focused on first responders to trafficking victims, as well as a series of case studies of best practices in preventing and intervening in trafficking.  Internationally, the program will focus on analyzing child labor in the supply chains of several global commodities, including hand-woven carpets from India and minerals mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The program aims to increase awareness in western retail markets and provoke effective corporate responses. In addition, the program will focus on the precipitators of vulnerability to trafficking among adolescents in the United States, on the Nepal-India border, and disenfranchised Roma youth in Europe.


The program is also establishing a training institute geared toward developing a cadre of anti-trafficking leaders. The institute will offer targeted trainings to students and professionals in the field – including community and NGO leaders, police, lawyers, social workers, doctors, and teachers – to build skills and facilitate effective, ethical, and culturally appropriate action to combat human trafficking.