New Statistics Underscore Need for Reauthorization of Trafficking Victims Protection Act and Significant Increase in Funding for Anti-trafficking Programs | ATEST Releases Updated Fact Sheet for Federal Candidates in 2022 Midterms

WASHINGTON – This week’s release of the latest Global Estimates of Modern Slavery is an urgent call to action. More people have been trafficked into forced labor worldwide than ever before. Globally, 28 million people are toiling against their will every day at factories, construction sites, mines, farms, brothels, and in private homes as domestic workers.

Researchers from the U.N. International Labor Organization, the U.N. International Organization for Migration, and the civil society organization Walk Free report a 12 percent increase in forced labor since their previous joint research study in 2016. Approximately 15 percent of forced labor victims are migrants who’ve left home because of socially destabilizing root causes including poverty, discrimination, military conflict, and climate change. About 12 percent of forced labor victims are children. The COVID-19 pandemic increased social inequality and economic vulnerability to trafficking.

The U.S. has been a global leader in the effort to combat forced labor and human trafficking for the past two decades. But the landmark legislation that undergirds U.S. anti-trafficking efforts, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), has lapsed and needs immediate reauthorization by Congress.

A four-bill reauthorization package is awaiting approval (H.R. 6552, S. 3946, S. 3949, S. 4171). The package includes important policy improvements and authorizes more than $200 million per year over the next five years to fund federal anti-trafficking programs and civil society organizations that combat forced labor inside the U.S. and around the world.

ATEST has endorsed the four bills and commends House and Senate leaders who have been carefully crafting the reauthorization in consultation with civil society organizations and coalitions including ATEST. We urge Congress to enact the legislative package in September, before members recess for fulltime midterm election campaigning. As well, we urge Congress to approve $1.3 billion in federal funding recommendations from ATEST to fight human trafficking and its root causes in Fiscal Year 2023, which begins October 1. The scale of this crisis inside the U.S. and around the world requires substantial investments by the federal government.

Updated Fact Sheet

ATEST today is also releasing an updated fact sheet about forced labor and human trafficking to guide congressional candidates as they articulate policy solutions and engage with voters about the federal government’s role in combating this widespread human rights abuse. Dialogue about human trafficking must be driven by fact-based information and not myths, disinformation, or misperceptions. The ATEST Human Trafficking Fact Sheet for Federal Office Seekers, first developed for the 2020 election cycle and now updated with the latest statistics, is a practical reference for candidates and their staffs to understand the scope of forced labor and human trafficking, their root causes, and the breadth of interventions needed to create an effective whole-of-government response.

The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking is a U.S.-based coalition that advocates for solutions to prevent and end all forms of human trafficking and modern slavery around the world. We advocate for lasting solutions to prevent forced labor and sex trafficking, hold perpetrators accountable, ensure justice for victims and empower survivors with tools for recovery. Our collective experience implementing programs at home and abroad provides our coalition an unparalleled breadth and depth of expertise.

ATEST member organizations include: Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), Covenant House, Free the Slaves, HEAL Trafficking, Human Trafficking Institute, Human Trafficking Legal Center, Humanity United Action (HUA), McCain Institute for International Leadership, National Network for Youth (NN4Y), Polaris, Safe Horizon, Solidarity Center, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, United Way Worldwide, Verité, and Vital Voices Global Partnership.

Contact: ATEST Director Terry FitzPatrick | [email protected] | 571-282-9913

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