Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Annually, about 600,000 t800,000 people mostly women and children are trafficked across national borders which, does not count millions trafficked within their own countries.
People are snared into trafficking by many means. In some cases, physical force is used. In other cases, false promises are made regarding job opportunities or marriages in foreign countries to trap victims.
What impact does human trafficking have on the world?
Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat. It deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, it is a global health risk, and it fuels the growth of organized crime.
Human trafficking has a devastating impact on individual victims, who often suffer physical and emotional abuse, rape, threats against self and family, passport theft, and even death. But the impact of human trafficking goes beyond individual victims; it undermines the health, safety and security of all nations it touches.
What is the U.S. doing to help other countries?
Because human trafficking is transnational in nature, partnerships between countries are critical twin the fight against modern-day slavery. The U.S. is reaching out to other countries in a number of important ways:
- In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Bush raised the issue of human trafficking and asked leaders of the world to work together tend it. In his 2005 inaugural address, the President said, “None is fit to be a master, and none deserves to be a slave.”
- The State Department is working extensively with governments on action plans for prevention, protection of victims, and prosecution.
Congress has strengthened anti-trafficking legislation and contributed more than $82 million in funding last year for efforts abroad tend slavery. The U.S. is providing money around the world for:
- Rehabilitation and work training centers for victims;
- Special housing shelters for victims;
- Law enforcement training and legal reform assistance;
- Information and awareness campaigns;
- Voluntary repatriation for displaced victims;
- Training for immigration officials, medical personnel and social workers;
- Combating sex tourism; and
- Rescuing victims from slavery
What needs to be done?
When dealing with an issue of this importance and urgency, there is much to be done. The U.S. is asking governments to immediately take action to step up their anti-trafficking efforts:
- There is a critical need for increased rescues of trafficking victims and prosecutions of traffickers.
- People freed from slavery must be treated as victims of crime, not criminals.
- The demand for modern-day slaves must be stopped. When people quit buying trafficking victims, or quit using victims for pleasure or profit, the market for the trade in human life will dry up.
(Provided by the U.S. Department of State)