Human Rights First Marks National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Washington, D.C. – On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Human Rights First urged the United States to honor its responsibility to end slavery by working with its partners, public and private, to dismantle every link in this $150 billion criminal enterprise.

“The scourge of human trafficking is one that affects every state, city, and community in the United States, stripping its roughly 21 million victims around the world of liberty and basic human dignity,” said Human Rights First’s Amy Sobel. “Despite important efforts that have been taken to address modern day slavery and provide services for its survivors, human trafficking remains a growing criminal enterprise. As we mark National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, we call upon the U.S. government to enact common sense policies to bring an end to impunity for the criminal networks that profit from this horrific crime and end slavery once and for all.”

Human Rights First’s policy blueprint titled, “How to Dismantle the Business of Human Trafficking” outlines key steps the U.S. government can take to weaken every link of the human trafficking supply chain and put traffickers out of business, including:

  • Develop a system to produce an authoritative accounting of the number of victims of human trafficking (in both sex and labor exploitation) in the United States using a peer reviewed and transparent methodology;
  • Increase the number and success of prosecutions aimed at every part of the network that enables trafficking;
  • Conduct financial investigations, following the money to attack the profits of this criminal enterprise;
  • Implement measures to prevent or disrupt the criminal enterprise of human trafficking by focusing on labor recruitment and procurement, and establishing guiding principles for companies to ensure they aren’t unintentionally contributing to the human trafficking problem globally;
  • Pass legislation requiring transparency in business supply chains;
  • Along with business leaders, encourage self-regulation of industries to eradicate exploitation in their operations; and
  • Ensure Adequate Resourcing for AntiTrafficking Policies.

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of passage of the 13th amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery in the United States. Throughout the upcoming year, Human Rights First will press the U.S. government to honor this proud moment in the nation’s history by restoring its commitment to end slavery.


Published on January 11, 2015


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