Project Profile

Working with the Private Sector to Combat Human Trafficking in Asia

Project Name



United States Agency for International Development Regional Development Mission for Asia (USAID RDMA)

Prime Contractor

Winrock International

Partner Organizations 

Resonance, Liberty Shared, NEXUS Institute


Asia region

Time Period

January 2017 - June 2021


Leader with Associate Awards (LWA)


Human trafficking is a global crime that involves the movement of persons through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of exploitation. Trafficking is a modern form of slavery, depriving victims of their humanity and basic freedom. Many victims are channeled into forced labor – involuntary work done under threat of penalty. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates more than 11 million people are victims of forced labor in Asia alone. Forced labor in supply chains affects companies of all sizes, from leading global brands to small community farms, and across all industries. High-risk business sectors in Asia include agriculture, construction, seafood, hospitality, and domestic work. Today’s global supply chains are ever more sprawling and complex – featuring many places and players. In this context, it is extremely challenging to increase transparency, demand accountability, and take meaningful action to stop modern slavery.


USAID Asia Counter Trafficking in Persons (USAID Asia CTIP) is a $21 million, five-year initiative to combat the root causes and incentives that drive human trafficking in Asia. USAID Asia CTIP combats human trafficking by:

  • Building a strong regional network for information exchange to bolster enforcement efforts and support survivors
  • Identifying and disseminating successful, evidence-based best practices to inform human trafficking interventions and research
  • Enhancing cooperation between source, transit, and destination countries
  • Increasing opportunities for private sector leadership.

USAID Asia CTIP focuses on the agriculture/seafood, construction, and domestic work sectors.

As a partner to Winrock International on USAID Asia CTIP, Resonance leads private sector engagement (PSE) and development of strategic, shared value partnerships that help counter forced labor and worker exploitation in supply chains across Asia. Our work on USAID Asia CTIP includes:

  • Partnership development and implementation. Resonance helps to identify, design, and develop opportunities for shared value partnerships that bring companies, civil society, and USAID together to reduce risk to forced labor and worker exploitation in supply chains.
  • Support to bilateral CTIP projects. In addition to the regional USAID Asia CTIP project, there are six different country-specific – or bilateral – CTIP projects in Asia. Resonance provides training and mentorship to project staff on these bilateral CTIP projects to improve their capacity to identify, develop, and implement shared value partnerships with the private sector. We also help facilitate partnership design and development with bilateral CTIP project teams.
  • Thought leadership and sharing learnings. Resonance develops and publicizes Learning Action Briefs, webinars, and other knowledge products focused on PSE and partnership development to combat human trafficking.
  • Responsible recruitment. Resonance brings a PSE angle to USAID Asia CTIP’s work to promote responsible recruitment in supply chains. We identify strategic partnership opportunities and bring the private sector to the table to discuss means of ensuring responsible recruitment.
  • Convening multi-stakeholder actors. Resonance brings companies, government, NGOs, and other actors together to explore collaboration to address pre-competitive common objectives; gauge challenges and potential solutions facing industry; test ideas; and share knowledge to counter human trafficking and forced labor.

Key Results

  • Shared Value Partnership. Through both the USAID Asia CTIP project and USAID Thailand CTIP bilateral project, Resonance has helped broker, develop, and implement a partnership with leading global pet care provider, Mars Petcare. The partners seek to reduce labor exploitation in the seafood supply chain in Thailand and beyond. Partnership activities focus on improving worker voice on fishing vessels at sea, building industry capacity for responsible recruitment, and facilitating broader engagement among private sector, government, and civil society stakeholders.
  • Private Sector Landscape Assessment (PSLA). At the start of the USAID Asia CTIP project, Resonance led a robust private sector mapping exercise to identify opportunities for partnerships that leverage private sector influence, skills, and resources to achieve greater impact and sustainability. Resonance conducted this PSLA over a five-month period, with desk research; key informant interviews with representatives from 75 companies, business associations, NGOs, and government agencies operating in the Asia region; and ideation and prioritization of 10 partnership concepts.
  • Learning Action Brief. In 2019, Resonance authored a Learning Action Brief called Five Learnings on Engaging the Private Sector to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The Learning Action Brief serves as a resource to support the PSE and partnership development efforts of other USAID CTIP projects and organizations working to combat human trafficking. The Learning Action Brief shared experiential learnings from PSE and partnership activities in the first two years of the USAID Asia CTIP project.
  • PSE for CTIP Webinar. In follow-up to the publication of the Learning Action Brief, the Resonance team participated in a webinar hosted by Freedom Collaborative, an online community platform that unites stakeholders engaged in countering trafficking in persons (CTIP) worldwide to share knowledge and raise awareness. Titled Engaging the Private Sector for CTIP (Lessons Learned, Considerations and Partnerships), the webinar shared lessons regarding PSE for CTIP learned through the USAID Asia CTIP project as well as from Resonance’s experience in brokering over 300 partnerships with the private sector. It also shared the point of view of global companies and encouraged discourse on meaningful collaboration with the private sector to combat labor trafficking.
  • Responsible Recruitment. Resonance supports USAID Asia CTIP activities focused on advancing safe, ethical recruitment of migrant and other at-risk workers. Our work includes identifying and brokering partnerships that support responsible recruitment, engaging private sector advisors for project-led research on responsible recruitment, and facilitating linkages with prominent stakeholders working on responsible recruitment across the Asia region.
  • PSE Capacity Development: Resonance conducted PSE trainings, provides targeted technical assistance and mentorship, and helps identify and pursue private sector partnership opportunities for the bilateral USAID CTIP projects. Select efforts include:
    • Conducting a PSE training for the USAID Laos CTIP project team and advising them on the design of a private sector partnership assessment;
    • Facilitating partnership co-creation sessions and developing partnership concept notes for the USAID Cambodia CTIP project;
    • Providing strategic support to the Thailand CTIP team to identify, broker, design, and implement the Mars Petcare partnership (referenced above).

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