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February 04, 2015

Congressional Testimony Highlights Strategy to Combat the Business of Human Trafficking

Washington, D.C. - During testimony today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Human Rights First Bankrupt Slavery Campaign Ambassador David Abramowitz called for the U.S. government to develop and implement policies to require greater transparency in labor recruitment and supply chains. Abramowitz, who is vice president for policy and government relations at Humanity United, testified as part of a hearing on ending modern slavery.

“It remains a shock to most Americans but thousands of adults are trafficked into forced or exploitative labor right here in the United States. Some estimates suggest that as many as 300,000 U.S. children and youth are at risk of being trafficked into the commercial sex trade,” stated Abramowitz. "The business of human trafficking is too large to allow fragmentation of efforts, which is why bringing government, business, and civil society together is key. But the private and public sector should also be better coordinated and mutually reinforcing.”

"Companies’ efforts to trace their supply chains represent real opportunities to address human trafficking and modern slavery. Much of the most severe exploitation occurs at the very bottom of the supply chain,” added Abramowitz. “Laws like the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act are requiring [companies] to report on what they are doing. The Congress should follow suit and make reporting on supply chains a national requirement."

Abramowitz is part of a group of prominent leaders from the business, law enforcement, military, government, and civil rights communities who have committed to joining a major public education and advocacy effort organized by Human Rights First focused on disrupting the business of human trafficking. The group met together in Washington last week to develop a strategic framework for how government, business, and law enforcement can begin to take action to dismantle the $150 billion criminal enterprise of modern slavery.

As 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 13th amendment the the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery, Human Rights First is urging the United States to honor this proud moment in the nation’s history by developing and implementing policies to increase the risks and decrease the rewards for perpetrators of this horrific crime.

For more information contact Mary Elizabeth Margolis at [email protected] or 212-845-5269.