How the U.S. Government Funds Human Trafficking

In September 2012, President Obama announced a new Executive Order (EO 13627) that sought to strengthen protections against human trafficking by U.S. Government contractors and their subcontractors. The Administration is expected to release the regulations to implement the EO later this year. In the meantime, a piece in this week’s The New Republic showed how the U.S. Government still directly funds human trafficking operations

The piece correctly points to prior laws on the books that should prohibit practices that increase workers’ vulnerabilities to labor and sex trafficking, such as recruitment fees. These laws, however, are not effectively enforced or policed. If the United States is serious about taking steps to eradicate slavery and trafficking within its own supply chains, it needs to make good on the zero tolerance policy.

The U.S. Government asserts itself as a leader in the fight against human trafficking and the Executive Order holds us accountable to trafficking within our own government supply chains. The trick will be whether the Administration’s regulations will fulfill the promise of the EO.

To learn more and read the article in its entirety, please click here.


The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) 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.

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