The 4 Ps


Almost two decades ago, as governments and international organizations first started to come together to tackle modern-day slavery and trafficking, a common language and effort was needed to work across borders and sectors. The United States passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000 and used the 3P paradigm to strategically categorize and prioritize funding for meaningful interventions worldwide. The 3 Ps were also included in the UN’s 2000 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children. It may seem elemental now, but, at the time, a common language and framework was helpful in getting governments, law enforcement agencies and NGOs  to work towards measuring efforts and impact in a meaningful way. What are the 3 Ps?

Prosecution - “Under the frameworks set forth in both the Palermo Protocol and the TVPA, effective law enforcement action is an indispensable element of government efforts to fight human trafficking. In the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, the Department of State analyzes whether governments criminalize all forms of human trafficking, vigorously investigate and prosecute cases of human trafficking, and convict and sentence those responsible for such acts with prison sentences that are sufficiently stringent to deter the crime and adequately reflect the heinous nature of the offense.” At LIFT, our Prosecute Team focuses on this P, working to ensure criminals are held accountable and justice systems are strengthened and supported.

Protection - “Protection is key to the victim-centered approach that the international community takes in its efforts to combat modern slavery. Effective victim protection entails identifying victims, providing referrals for a comprehensive array of services, directly providing or funding NGOs to provide those services, and supporting these individuals as they rebuild their lives. Identifying victims is a critical first step in ensuring their ability to receive the support and resources they need. LIFT’s Identify and Protect teams uphold this P, as they support local law enforcement to identify victims and support survivors.

Prevention - “Prevention efforts are an equally important component of the global movement to combat human trafficking. Effective prevention efforts address the tactics of human traffickers head on.”


In 2009, the U.S. State Department added a 4th P - Partnership - to acknowledge that efforts to prosecute, protect and prevent are only possible and even enhanced by working together. The 4Ps get mentioned by our team a lot, and you can see that our Identify, Protect and Prosecute pillars have been profoundly shaped by the idea that protecting victims must be accompanied by a legal framework for justice to make prevention possible and sustainable.

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