Human Rights First Applauds Bipartisan Effort to Combat Human Trafficking
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First praised this week’s bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives to pass a series of bills intended to address human trafficking and to condemn Boko Haram’s abduction of students in Nigeria. The five bills, H.R. Res 573, H.R. 3610, H.R. 3530, H.R. 4225, and H.R. 4058, seek to provide services to victims, provide resources to fight against domestic trafficking, and condemn the actions of the terrorist group.
“We applaud the Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who have demonstrated leadership in addressing the international crisis of human trafficking through the bills being considered on the floor this week,” said Human Rights First’s Amy Sobel. “We urge the U.S. government to continue to work towards not only increased victim protection, but also greater disruption of the criminal networks responsible for many of these crimes by increasing the risks and penalties for those who enslave other human beings.”
Human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world after illicit narcotics, generating an estimated $32 billion in profits for traffickers each year. In 2012 an estimated 20.9 million victims were living in modern-day slavery worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization. During the same year there were only 7,705 prosecutions and 4,746 convictions globally, based on self-reported data in the Department of State’s Trafficking In Persons report. Human Rights First urges the U.S. government to work to disrupt the business operations of traffickers by working together with law enforcement to change the calculus for these exploiters to end the abhorrent practice of buying and selling human beings.