Trafficking victims protection: Keeping a law that works

Debating the effectiveness of laws is a tradition as old as our nation itself. But I want to share a story that illustrates how one law is accomplishing exactly what it was passed to do.

From 2003 to 2007, the owners of the U.S. company Global Horizons trafficked more than 600 Thai workers to U.S. soil. The company lured the men with promises of high-paying agricultural jobs.

When the men arrived after having paid exorbitant recruitment fees, their passports and immigration papers were taken from them. Instead of receiving high-paying jobs, the men were forced to work on farms in Washington state and Hawaii to pay off the “debt” they were told they incurred.

In 2007, the owners of the company were arrested. The victims were referred to service providers, who handled everything from medical care and legal services to making arrangements for those who wanted to return home. In June 2011, the eight defendants in the Global Horizons case were convicted of their crimes.

The arrest, prosecution, and sentencing of these criminals, as well as the services provided to the victims, would not have been possible without the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).

Prevent, protect, prosecute

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 is the largest piece of human-rights legislation in U.S. history. It created the first comprehensive federal law to address human trafficking and modern-day slavery, targeting both the domestic and international dimensions of this crime. The law has a three-pronged approach:

  • Prevent vulnerability
  • Protect survivors
  • Prosecute human traffickers

Enhancements to the law

Because the methods of perpetrators constantly evolve, the law must also evolve. This is why the TVPA must be renewed every few years.

The original legislation from 2000 was reauthorized through the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Acts (TVPRA) of 2003, 2005, and 2008. Each time the bill was reauthorized, innovations and improvements were added.

The Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2011, as introduced by the Senate, makes some improvements that will better assist human trafficking victims, prosecutors, and law-enforcement agencies. Some of the key improvements include:

  • Encouraging partnerships between the U.S. government and private entities to ensure that U.S. citizens do not use goods or materials produced using labor from human trafficking victims
  • Providing technical assistance to other countries to investigate labor recruitment centers where trafficking victims may be recruited
  • Establishing child protection compacts between the United States and other countries to prevent the exploitation and abuse of children
  • Strengthening the enforcement of child exploitation laws against U.S. citizens living abroad who participate in such crimes
  • Protecting possible witnesses, informants, and threatened family members of trafficking victims

Time for reauthorization

The current TVPRA expires on September 30, 2011. If Congress does not pass an updated bill, all of the tools that brought the owners of Global Horizons to justice will be gone as of October 1.

Over the past decade, we have made significant strides toward identifying human trafficking victims, prosecuting traffickers, and creating partnerships here in the United States and around the globe to combat this crime. Congress needs to act now to ensure that we build on these gains, not let them expire.

Lending your voice to make phone calls to your members of Congress can mean the difference between our country leading the fight against human trafficking, or giving up. Tell your elected officials that the United States needs to lead the fight against modern-day slavery around the world, and here at home.

UPDATE on the TVPRA on the World Vision Act:s blog.


Call your members of Congress today. Urge them to support reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act so that there is no gap in the fight against human trafficking.

    Comments

    We are all one before GOD, there are no big I's or little you's in GOD's eyesight. We are all created equal before GOD,THEREFORE Who gives any man the right to sell another for profit. Please examine your heart before making decisions like this(human trafficking), for we are all held responsible for our actions if not with man than with the ALMIGHTY GOD WHO GOVERNS ALL. ARE YOU AWARE THAT YOU ARE HURTING SOMEONE, TAKING A PART OF THIS PERSON THAT YOU CANNOT REPLACED, THIS COULD BE SOMEONES CHILD,MOTHER, FATHER, SISTER, BROTHER, NIECE, NEPHEW IT COULD EVEN BE YOURS, GIVE LOVE INSTEAD OF TAKING IT AWAY. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOUL. REPENT BEFORE IT'S TO LATE.

    To find out who your Congress members are, enter your zipcode here:
    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt?action=myreps_form

    Alternatively, fill out this from International Justice Mission and they will send the letter to your Senators and Representative for you:
    https://secure3.convio.net/ijm/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAc...
    I got an email back from one of my Senators already that said he was co-sponsoring the Reauthorization Act.

    I have often wondered about all the oriental buffets/resturants that have so many changes in employees and they work so many hours. so many times they seems like their afraid to talk to you. Are those checked into?

    WHAT IN GODS NAME IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE WHO TRY TO MAKE MONEY FROM HUMAN TRAFFICING.ARE PEOPLE JUST SO NUMB THAT HUMANS DO NOT MATTER TO THEM.NOT ONE DOLLAR IS WORTH THE TORMENT AND TORTURE THAT THEY PUT ON A LIFE. WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. WE ARE HERE TO HELP EACH OTHER NOT HURT EACH OTHER.ANY HELP I CAN GIVE WOULD BE AN HONOR TO ME. I WILL PRAY AND CONTINUE TOPRAY IN JESUS NAME.AMEN.PEACE TO ALL.

    has the TVPA been reauthorized? I am giving an update to my WOV Chapter (DFW-Texas) tomorrow morning.

    Reading through a book named as Human Trafficking by Courtney Farrell regarding Human Trafficking in relation to Modern Slavery, I was shocked by listening to a story in the beginning of the book which tells about a nine year old girl Williathe Narcisse, who was a slave in Haiti before she arrived in the southern United states to work for her new owners there. In United States, she cleaned house for her mistress, worked in her master’s business and was abused sexually by their adult son. If she dared complained her treatment, she was whipped until she bled.

    The most shocking part which I conceived is the United States of America made slavery illegal in 1865, but the above mentioned brutal incident happened in 1996.

    This is not it, this was a short glimpse or only a one story from an archive which struck my nerves, there are some very teasing human trafficking statistics that will rattle anyone’s mind with pain and I really want to share it with my audience as people must know that human trafficking is the Greatest Socioeconomic and a Multicultural Threat to Human Race!

    Bleeding Human trafficking aka Modern Slavery Statistics you should Read to know the proximity of the Problem:

    • 27 million people are surviving in human trafficking slavery worldwide which tells us that there are more slaves around the globe than from the African history of about 300 years back when Trans-Atlantic slave trade has happened.

    • According to some United Nations Organization report, human trafficking slavery will beat drug trafficking in the race of most organized crime around the world by the end of this year.

    • There will be more people trafficked each year and the number rises up to hundreds of thousands, leaping up to most slaves alive in the human history.

    • According to Dept. of State – United States, approximately 800,000 to 900,000 people trafficked across international borders worldwide annually.

    These are few numbers and I don’t really have the courage to write more of them as the list is infinite in number. Every gender alive on earth is going through such brutality, whether they are male, female or children. Labor trafficking, women trafficking, child trafficking, sex trafficking are some terms that hits your heart. This all happening for the money people are running after. This is lust of getting richer by the sake of humanity by people who are known as human traffickers. The word human traffickers is not right for them, I feel that they must be called as Humanity Traffickers.

    What We Can Do To STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING and to End Human Trafficking Stories Around the World:

    Solution:

    1. Learn about human trafficking and anti human trafficking programs and Educate Others. Follow United Nations Organization programs to fight human trafficking.

    2. Look for the Signs and indicate trafficking in persons to the people.

    3. Start a Revolution to End this Social Crime once and forever, because drop by drop an ocean forms and by the power of ocean, you can bring a tsunami of change and an eventual end to human trafficking.

    Defeating human trafficking is a great moral calling of the day. Together with Global allies and friends, we can strengthen the efforts to bring this cruel practice to an end. Start a new abolitionist movement and let people know around you that there is a solution. Together we can make a difference, and together we can build a safer, freer, and more prosperous world for all.

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