The Colorado Project 2013

About the project

Beginning in 2010, LCHT led a three-year, interdisciplinary research project known as The Colorado Project. The project considered the landscape of scattered efforts, frustrated communities cobbling resources to combat a vast and complex problem, victims falling through the cracks, and traffickers escaping punishment. The ultimate goal of the research was to develop sustainable efforts to end human trafficking with the essential input of those working on the ground. In order to achieve this, The Colorado Project assessed the ongoing anti-trafficking efforts in the state of Colorado in order to understand if and how Colorado addressed prevention, prosecution, protection, and partnerships (4 Ps).

The results of The Colorado Project have informed anti-trafficking efforts in Colorado and created a replicable process for other states to conduct assessments of their own communities. The impact of the research continues to be foundational to the efforts of LCHT and its partners. This is most clearly visible in the Colorado Action Plan which was produced at the close of the project through the collaboration of the state and national advisory board.

Combat Human Trafficking

How do we combat human trafficking?

LCHT’s AnnJannette Alejano-Steele has dedicated her life to spotting, researching, and combating human trafficking in Colorado. As she explains in this eye-opening talk, human trafficking takes many forms and it’s not always easy or convenient to see the truth in what’s happening around us.

See our results

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Full Report

Guiding Frameworks


Colorado Statewide Data Report

National Survey Report

Our approach to research

Community Based

LCHT utilizes a Participatory Action Research approach to foster community action. This recognized form of research focuses on the effect of the researcher’s direct action of practice within a participatory community with the goal of improving the performance quality of the community or an area of concern.


LCHT promotes diverse research participation among academics, activists, community service providers, law enforcement, survivors, and volunteers. We also integrate the expertise of coalitions, organizations, and individuals working on the ground in the anti-trafficking movement and related fields, as they are the most appropriate to inform promising practices.

Toward a Solution

Where solutions to human rights issues often tend to be short-term, band-aid fixes, LCHT’s research instead seeks to create systemic solutions that accelerate long-lasting change by developing a clearer understanding of what is working in the field. We seek to identify promising practices in anti-trafficking and share them with our partners.

Research with the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking

We’re contributing data-driven insights to the broader anti-trafficking movement to advance a comprehensive response.

LCHT’s research supports Colorado communities with the tools that they already proudly possess to address human trafficking. The Colorado Project helps our state move beyond best guesses and assumptions so that we can make data-informed decisions together.

AJ Alejano-Steele