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United States Federal Guidance on Witness Protection in Human Trafficking
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
The United States needs overarching federal guidance on witness protection for human trafficking victimswitnesses in order to enhance their safety and participation in prosecuting their traffickers. The international response predicates itself on a victim-centered approach that works along four distinct efforts to combat the problem Prevention Protection Prosecution and Partnership. Protection of victims is essential for all victims regardless of their cooperation in anti-trafficking efforts, namely trafficker prosecution. Protection comes in two forms, access to social services and physical protection from human traffickers. A prosecutors ability to secure vital testimony at trial -- increasing the likelihood of conviction -- was interrelated to the victim witness receiving protection. Federal guidelines for other components of the fight against trafficking, such as the provision of social services, mirror international advice and practices and are clearly outlined, allowing state and local governments to formulate effective policies in providing support to victims of trafficking. As a result, state and local governments vary in their approach to the physical protection of human trafficking victim witnesses. The thesis argues that victim witness cooperation is improved when victims receive aid and protection and that offering even minimal physical protection increases the likelihood of witness cooperation.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE