Executive Order on Combating Human Trafficking and Online Child Exploitation in the US

On the last day of January, which subsequently happens to also be the last day of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and the 20th Anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), President Trump signed the Executive Order on Combating Human Trafficking and Online Child Exploitation in the United States.

The President stated, “An estimated 25 million people around the world today are being held captive, manipulated, and abused by human traffickers.” He continued, “In 2018 alone, the National Human Trafficking Hotline identified over 23,000 human trafficking victims in the United States.  Sixty-five percent of these victims were women.  More than one in five were children.  Human traffickers’ prey on their most vulnerable citizens and people.  They’re vicious.  They’re violent.”

We had friends that attended the event and we are looking forward to hearing directly from them. We are hoping that one of them may be named to this new position. We at Guardian Group will continue to drive ahead with our unique mission and partner with this new team wherever we can. The private sector has a critical role to play in the fight against human trafficking. Guardian Group is working to enable the private sector to leverage the knowledge, resources and skills, of citizens and veterans to find and the most effective ways to combat sex trafficking in the United States.

The Policy

The order is broken down into six sections, with the first being the policy the executive branch has adopted regarding human trafficking. There are a few key things of note within the policy. First it recognizes that this crime is happening right here in our very own hometowns. Second, that technological advances have played a key role in facilitating this crime and allowed for its rapid increase. Lastly, the policy recognizes that the solution will require a comprehensive coordinated approach. These are all in-line with key areas Guardian Group has worked to impact change.

Our defensive strategy focuses on educating the community, we have been working hard to change the perception that human trafficking is a foreign issue. We cannot resolve an issue of this magnitude until we accept that we have a one. Trafficking is running rampant within our country and American women and children are being trafficked at an alarming rate. The time has come to accept it and move towards a solution.

Our offensive strategy focuses on providing resource-constrained law enforcement with the support they need to combat this issue online. The use of social media and various other sites has created a place for traffickers to easily hunt for new, vulnerable victims from the safety of their own couches. It has also allowed traffickers to connect to buyer in a more efficient manner and allowed this crime to scale at an incredible rate. With 150,000 new escort ads posted daily (source) law enforcement is up against a huge fight. While simultaneously District Attorneys are having to navigate the use of technical evidence to win cases. Guardian Group complements both aspects by providing our expertise for free as we all strive for the same goal, the disruption and elimination of sex trafficking safe havens.

Since our founding we have understood that a comprehensive approach is required to build the necessary Counter Human Trafficking capability within the US.  Guardian Group is a collaborative team that provides resources, expertise, and information to our partners with the goal of maximizing the ability to detect, illuminate, prevent, and deter predators.

The policy section ends with this statement, “To this end, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to prioritize its resources to vigorously prosecute offenders, to assist victims, and to provide prevention education to combat human trafficking and online sexual exploitation of children.”

Regardless of your political views we believe this is a statement most people can agree upon, at the bare minimum we can all agree no child should ever be sold for sex.

The Strategy:

The executive order designates a full-time position at the White House, within the Domestic Policy Council, dedicated solely to combating human trafficking. The Domestic Policy Council (DPC) of the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering domestic policy matters. The council also offers advice to the President and represents his priorities to Congress.

The executive order also:

  • Expands prevention education programs
  • Promotes housing opportunities for survivors
  • Prioritizes the removal of child sexual abuse material from the internet
  • Improve methodologies for estimating the prevalence of human trafficking
  • Creates a website listing all Federal resources to combat trafficking

According to press releases, the order proposes an additional $42 million in funding for service programs and prosecutions.


When public and private sectors truly embrace the importance of collaboration in the fight to end human trafficking, and are dedicated to finding solutions for this problem, collaboration becomes an incredible force for good.