Anti-trafficking efforts improve, but millions still vulnerable

U.S. influence has helped bolster the fight against human trafficking in other countries. World Vision urges Congress to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act so that the United States remains a leader in the fight against modern-day slavery.

By Lauren Fisher and Shawna Templeton, World Vision U.S.
Published June 20, 2012 at 12:00am PDT

Many countries have improved their efforts to combat slavery as a direct result of U.S. pressure and assistance, according to the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, recently released by the U.S. Department of State.

The annual report ranks countries based on their efforts to combat human trafficking.

Progress worth celebrating

According to the report, 29 countries have been upgraded in terms of their response to trafficking.

Countries like Bangladesh and the Dominican Republic, which were recently some of the lowest-ranked countries, have shown improvement in implementing new laws in the areas of prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership.

Jesse Eaves, World Vision’s senior policy advisor for child protection, says that the annual report is an excellent example of the influence the United States has in the global fight against modern-day slavery and underscores some important strides forward.

“While many countries, including the United States, still have a long way to go, the increased attention and pressure to bring modern-day slavery to light helps all of us on the front lines,” explains Eaves.

U.S. influence weakened by stalled anti-trafficking bill

However, this updated picture of modern-day slavery highlights the complete failure of Congress to reauthorize the very law that makes the report possible: the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).

The TVPA represents the cornerstone of U.S. policies to fight modern-day slavery, but Congress allowed it to expire in September 2011. For more than a year, World Vision has advocated for the reauthorization of this bill.

Eaves notes that U.S. influence in the fight against modern-day slavery is weakened every day that passes without a reauthorized TVPA, and the impact of the TIP report is eroded.

“Congress’ inaction…makes millions of men, women, and especially children around the world even more vulnerable to exploitation,” says Eaves.

“This issue has always brought together all sides to work together to fight slavery,” Eaves says. “The release of the 2012 TIP Report should be a reminder that the United States can continue to be a global leader in that fight.”

Three ways you can help

Thank God for the progress made in many countries in the fight against human trafficking. Pray that Congress would act so that the United States would continue to be a leader in this fight.

Contact your members of Congress to voice your support for the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

Make a one-time gift to help support girls and women in crisis. Your donation will help World Vision provide protection, counseling, education, vocational training, and more to girls and women who were formerly subjected to abuse or exploitation.