Dan Lungren on Human Trafficking Prosecutions, Deterrence, and Justice

Increasing prosecutions of human trafficking is about more than putting bad guys away, as Dan Lungren, former member of Congress from California, explains: “There is a sense of justice about punishing those who have committed crimes. But there also is the sense of deterrence.”

Right now, the human traffickers enjoy a relatively low risk and high reward for exploiting victims of modern slavery. While there are an estimated 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, in 2013 there were only 5,776 convictions for the crime. Meanwhile, exploiters net about $150 billion annually from this illicit trade.

To change the equation, perpetrators need to be held accountable. And to increase prosecutions in the United States, Congress needs to increase funding for these measures. The United States spends more in one month combatting the drug trade than it has spent in 15 years to end human trafficking.

To hear more from Lungren on modern slavery, check out this video.

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Published on June 4, 2015

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