Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

Weixing Chen

Second Advisor

Melissa Bass

Third Advisor

Eva Payne

Relational Format



This research investigates the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report published annually by the United States. Specifically, this research examines both the role that the Trafficking in Persons report plays in pushing specific human rights policy decisions throughout the world and its overall effectiveness in creating governmental response. The tier rankings and country narratives included in the report are essential for identifying specific government responses to recommendations made in the TIP report, and the tier rankings specifically have created a system that pressures countries to pursue steps toward combatting human trafficking. The data collection method utilized throughout this research consists primarily of information within the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and the twenty published Trafficking in Persons reports ranging from 2001 to 2021. Other notable points of reference for data collection are various reports from the Government Accountability Office, U.S. Embassy reports, and other pieces of both domestic and foreign legislation surrounding human rights and human trafficking. Although the preexisting literature surrounding the issue of human trafficking is not necessarily abundant, the relevant information utilized for this research proved to be vital in acknowledging the principal role of the TIP report in leading global responses against human trafficking.

The TIP report has a reputable status around the world and there are countries that do adhere to its recommendations in order to improve their tier rankings. However, it is problematic that the TIP Report, due to a lack of other research surrounding human trafficking on an international scale, has taken on the role as one of the only points of reference for governments around the world. It is necessary for other countries to take initiative into competing with the United States in regards to human trafficking research and create other references of information in order to improve and increase global responses. In conclusion, the examination of five different countries, their tier rankings, and their corresponding responses to their tier ranking and TIP report recommendations overall illustrates the influential role that the report plays in creating change surrounding human trafficking. The trends in policy response in each country, while very different, all contribute to one concrete idea: the TIP report, despite its occasionally criticism, maintains a very influential status with countries across the world, and governments have been known to find value in obtaining an admirable tier ranking in order to maintain positive relations with the United States in regards to human rights.



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