On World Day Against Trafficking in Persons U.S. Must Stand up for Vulnerable Migrant Children

For Release: July 30, 2014

(Washington, DC) – Today, as the world celebrates the first UN-declared World Day against Trafficking in Persons, leaders in Congress and the White House are contemplating policy changes that would undermine the United States’ most important tool in the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA). Proposals aimed at expediting the deportation of vulnerable unaccompanied children who have crossed our border from Central America would strip protections that safeguard these children’s fundamental human rights to due process.

Melysa Sperber, Director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST), issued the following statement:

“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared this first World Day against Trafficking in Persons ‘a call to action to end this crime and give hope to the victims, who often live unrecognized among us.’ It is ironic, and deeply disturbing, that as we celebrate World Day against Trafficking in Persons, Congress and the White House are contemplating changes to our cornerstone anti-trafficking law that would deny children vulnerable to human trafficking their most basic human rights protections. Today, we call on President Obama and Congress to act like true leaders in combating child trafficking by recognizing that the greater threat we face is not the children fleeing violence from their home countries and seeking refuge here; it is the United States’ loss of credibility and moral standing if we fail to provide basic legal protections and deport children who may be deserving of relief as refugees and trafficking survivors.”


The Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST) is a diverse alliance of U.S.-based human rights organizations that advocates for solutions to prevent and end all forms of human trafficking and modern slavery around the world. ATEST was founded by Humanity United in 2007. For more information, visit www.EndSlaveryandTrafficking.org.