Human Trafficking

An estimated 20 million men, women and children worldwide are trafficked into forced labor situations or into the commercial sex trade. Since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000 and the creation of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), the U.S. government has made countering human trafficking a top policy priority. CNA helps organizations and state governments advance their understanding of this complex issue by developing techniques and tools to reduce the trafficked population in the U.S.

In the 17 years since Congress enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, communities across the United States have made important progress in identifying and emancipating child victims and holding traffickers accountable.

In August 2017, CNA sponsored a panel discussion on strategies used by local communities to address the problem of child trafficking. Experts spoke on how communities leverage interdisciplinary partnerships to overcome challenges such as the increased role of technology in child trafficking, the complex emotional needs of child trafficking survivors, and access to appropriate housing and services.

In July 2016, CNA held a National Security Seminar that brought together leading experts on human trafficking to consider the scope of the challenge, key trends and policy responses. Speakers included:

  • U.S. Ambassador Susan Coppedge, Ambassador-at-Large, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State
  • Capt. Mark Burgmann, Special Victim’s Unit, Philadelphia Police Department
  • Ms. Jamie Manirakiza, director of Anti Trafficking and Social Services, the Salvation Army (Philadelphia)
  • Mr. Jason Motlagh, a writer, photographer, filmmaker and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grantee who has reported on labor trafficking for The Washington Post, The Economist and BusinessWeek

Panelists from Virginia's Fairfax and Loudoun counties included local law enforcement agencies and their FBI partners, school administrators who work to prevent children from becoming trafficking victims, and county and private-sector service providers who support survivors. Valerie Schmitt presented CNA’s research findings that highlight best practices and lessons learned from law enforcement agencies, victim service organizations, and survivor advocates.

Our Team

CNA has a team of analysts with geographical, functional and programmatic expertise in human trafficking policy and research. They have experience in analyzing communities in crisis – political instability, natural disasters, terrorist attacks and refugee migrations – and in assessing the factors that promote stability and safety.

Ann Casey is a Program Manager in CNA’s Safety and Security division. She is an expert in organizational dynamics, productivity and change management. Her current focus on governmental collaboration includes research and support to multi-agency partnerships working to ensure patient safety and the interfaces between public and private entities addressing human trafficking. Casey has an M.B.A. from Babson College and a B.A. in History from Tufts University.

Lauren Jekowsky Frey is a Senior Research Specialist in CNA’s Safety and Security division. She is an expert in human trafficking policy, international human rights policy, homeland security policy and transnational criminal networks. Previously, she was a Researcher at the Human Trafficking Center of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. She has an M.A. in International Human Rights from the University of Denver and a B.S. in Criminology from the University of Tampa.

Danielle Johnson, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist in CNA’s Strategic Studies division. She is an expert in Russian and Eurasian affairs, with particular expertise in human rights, democratization and migration. Johnson is also a Regional Program Manager at Polaris, a global nonprofit dedicated to the eradication of modern slavery and to freedom for survivors. She has a Ph.D. in Politics and an M.A. in Comparative Government from the University of Oxford as well as a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College.

Valerie Schmitt is a Project Manager in CNA’s Safety and Security division. She is also a Manager of Advisory Services at Polaris, a global nonprofit dedicated to the eradication of modern slavery and to freedom for survivors. Schmitt has over 6 years of experience working at nonprofits that help human trafficking survivors. She has an M.S.W. from the Indiana University School of Social Work and a B.A. in Psychology from Taylor University.