Human Trafficking is a terrible reality. The statistics are so profound that we can easily move from ignorance to paralysis. While the most common steps might be to increase awareness, train leaders, or offer relief to rescued victims, some of the most productive and long term impact may be legislative. As President Obama said, “From every corner of our nation to every part of the globe, we must stand firm in defense of freedom and bear witness for those exploited by modern slavery.”
So how can we best do that? The International Justice Mission, one of the worlds leading abolitionist organizations, offers the following suggestions, urging our President to strengthen our government’s anti-slavery policies, institutions and diplomatic tools:
- Provide funding and full-time staff to the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) to allow it to scale up and replicate projects that have successfully reduced the prevalence of labor or sex trafficking abroad.
- Increase funding for victim relief and perpetrator accountability, and provide tangible support for police, prosecutors, and courts to deter this crime and secure relief for victims.
- Urge Congress to include additional resources for the TIP Office when the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act is considered in 2011.
- Insist that TIP Office diplomacy is amplified throughout the State Department and U.S. Embassies, and the concerns reflected in the annual TIP Report are raised at the highest levels.
- Provide adequate funding in budget not only for fighting slavery abroad but also for confronting the crime at home. Increased resources to support survivors of labor or sex trafficking as well as for police, prosecutors and investigators, should be included in forthcoming budget.
- Enforce current law that prohibits the importation of slave or child-made goods into the U.S.
- Strengthen the TIP Office by making its coordinator the equivalent of an Assistant Secretary of State.
To find out more about IJM’s Justice Campaigns click HERE.