American leadership is critical to combatting human trafficking, a global crisis that knows no borders and devastates individuals and families. Trafficking also undermines the global economy and threatens our national security. In 2016, the International Labor Organization estimated that 40.3 million people live in modern slavery, controlled and forced to work by others and sold as commodities (24.9 million in forced labor and sex trafficking, and 15.4 million in forced marriage). Trafficking is estimated to have grown into a $150 billion business, one of the world’s biggest illicit industries that undermines economic growth and traps victims and their families in inter-generational cycles of debt bondage.
The United States has a strong track record of results in fighting traffickers and strengthening the rule of law, supporting survivors, and raising awareness that advances our interests abroad and at home. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has observed, “human trafficking is a global problem, but it’s a local one too.” This is a crisis that affects nearly every country including the United States, and many of America’s state leaders across the country – in cities like Houston and Phoenix, and states including Alabama and Missouri – have established human trafficking task forces to combat the problem at a local level.
Prosecution: Fighting Traffickers and Strengthening the Rule of Law
Protection: Supporting Survivors
Prevention: Raising Awareness
Over the past two decades, bipartisan support in Congress has been a driving force in strengthening U.S. leadership in the global fight against human trafficking.