April 10, 2008

Human Trafficking Issue at the United States Department of State

Virtue Foundation had been invited by the United States Department of State to participate in a live video web cast on Thursday, April 10, 2008 to discuss the human trafficking issue and the nature of current programs to combat this devastating epidemic.

Trafficking in persons is modern day slavery, involving victims who are forced, tricked, or coerced into sex trafficking or labor slavery. According to the U.S. Government, annually some 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders.  This does not include millions more trafficked within their own countries. Most of these victims (80 percent) are female and up to half are children.

In Fiscal year 2007, the U.S. Government spent approximately $74 million to fund 154 projects in about 70 countries as part of the overall commitment to the global abolitionist movement.

Though there are hundreds of organizations working around the world to combat modern-day slavery, we must do more. To effectively eradicate human trafficking, we need to encourage more public/private partnerships and engage groups that can help fund valuable anti-trafficking programs, especially around the “Three Ps:” prosecution of exploiters, protection of victims, and prevention of vulnerability.  As the anti-trafficking movement grows, government resources and non-government services could be immensely extended by the mobilization of non-government philanthropy.