NDAA Authorizes Grants to Fund Global Anti-Slavery Programs
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today applauded the inclusion of Section 1298 in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017 (S.2943), which authorizes $250 million over a seven year period for anti-slavery programs around the globe. The NDAA passed in the Senate today by a vote of 92 to seven.
“Ending modern slavery worldwide will require a multi-sector approach involving cooperation between government, law enforcement, and business,” said Human Rights First’s Annick Febrey. “Additional resources to combat human trafficking are critical, and we thank Senator Corker for his leadership in including this important provision in the NDAA.”
Section 1298 provides authorization for grants to support transformational programs and projects that measurably reduce the prevalence of modern slavery in targeted populations within specific geographic areas. Grantees will be required to develop rigorous monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure that these programs are effectively reducing slavery.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. The International Labour Organization estimates there are 20.9 million victims globally who earn an estimated $150 billion in illicit profits annually. By contrast the resources deployed to combat this crime are alarmingly low—it’s estimated that governments and NGOs spend just $124 million annually. The State Department reported 6,609 human trafficking convictions worldwide last year, showing it to be a low-risk crime where traffickers operate with relative impunity and simultaneously earn enormous profits.
“This new grant authorization will help increase investments to hold traffickers accountable internationally for this horrific crime. With additional resources and participation from other governments and the private sector, we can better focus efforts on particular jurisdictions to significantly reduce the incidence of slavery. We hope this funding will be used to leverage further resources from governments and private donors to bolster the anti-trafficking efforts of law enforcement in select geographic areas,” added Febrey.