The IHTI seeks to include a wide variety of individuals and groups. We want to inspire diversity from every angle of our programming to include: Participation, Partnership, Leadership, Issues.


The IHTI strives to be forthcoming and open with all information, including processes, outcomes, and use of resources.


The IHTI believes that mutual accountability is key to any successful movement. We expect stakeholders and partners to hold IHTI staff accountable for our actions and outcomes. IHTI staff will extend the same practice to partners and affiliates.


The IHTI recognizes that addressing an issue as complicated as human trafficking requires collaboration between all sectors and the inclusion of diverse perspectives. We ask that members cooperate with one another and utilize the variety of assets, talents, and ideas that are at their disposal.


Student Involvement

Whether it is through leadership, participation, or support, all of our activities will involve students in some way.

Sound Statistics

Bad information leads to bad policy. When statistics are used, they should be from methodologically sound sources and must be represented accurately. It cannot be taken for granted that even widely cited statistics meet this standard. When sound statistics are unavailable, as is often the case, they should be avoided.

Non-sensationalistic or exploitive materials

The use of shocking, disgusting, or sexualized images or narratives that are used to promote an organization only serve to re-exploit victims/survivors. The use of this material is also insensitive to victims/survivors of trauma who may be triggered by such content.

Local action

Talking about human trafficking is not enough. Even internationally focused programs should include elements that recognize how local actions can have impacts on trafficking in our communities and around the world.


All members, partners, and fellows of the IHTI network retain their individual and organizational autonomy. The IHTI will never impose views or activities on participants. The IHTI’s statements and actions are not necessarily a reflection of all its participants. Likewise, the statements and actions of IHTI participants are not necessarily a reflection of the IHTI.

How We Approach the Problem

When dealing with any social phenomena, our understanding of the issue is shaped by our beliefs and values. This is especially true with human trafficking, which raises many ethical and political issues. There are no objectively correct ways to understand the many questions that human trafficking raises, and so we would like to be explicit about our ethical and philosophical commitments.


Aftercare for survivors of human trafficking should always be non-coercive and should reaffirm the survivor’s ability to decide what is best for themselves. We also affirm that some individuals willingly choose to engage in the sex industry, i.e. not all selling of sex is sex trafficking or even necessarily exploitive.

Harm Reduction

We believe that in all programming and policy, every care should be taken to reduce harms and increase protections for the most vulnerable and marginalized in a society.

Systemic Oppression

We see the difference between human trafficking and other forms of exploitation as being one of degree, rather than kind. Human trafficking is at the most extreme end of the spectrum of exploitation. We also recognize that human trafficking is driven by numerous forms of systemic oppression, including: misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and economic inequity.

No Hierarchy of Victims

The IHTI does not believe that there is a hierarchy of victims/survivors – no type of victim/survivor deserves more care or protection than another.

No Strict Villain/Victim Dichotomy

The IHTI recognizes that traffickers are often products of the same injustices and systemic oppressions as victims/survivors of human trafficking and that the demonization of traffickers is not beneficial to the movement.