27 million people are held in slavery worldwide.
Human Trafficking has surpassed weapons sales and earns 9 billion yearly.
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation.
70% of trafficking victims are women and kids.
The U.S. Constitution (13th Amendment) gives all people the right to be free from slavery or involuntary servitude in the United States.
In December 2003, President Bush reauthorized the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which accelerates our global work against modern-day slavery in a number of ways:
* Provides new tools for addressing destination countries that may be turning a blind eye to trafficking, especially the abuse of foreign women.
* Makes convictions and sentencing of traffickers as important as arrests in evaluating country progress.
* Requires better statistical monitoring, giving us access to critical law enforcement data related to trafficking.
* Creates a Watch List of countries weakening their commitment toprosecute traffickers, prevent abuse, and protect victims.
In April 2003, the PROTECT Act was signed into law by President Bush. This bill serves as a historic milestone for protecting children while severely punishing those who victimize young people. The PROTECT Act allows law enforcement officers to prosecute Americans who travel abroad to abuse minors, without having to prove prior intent to commit illicit crimes.
Tackling trafficking at home, the Justice Department has arrested eight U.S. citizens abroad for illegal sexual conduct with minors since May 2003. In FY 2001- 2003, 111 traffickers have been charged-nearly a three-fold increase compared to those charged in the previous three years. As of January 2004, the Criminal Section has 142 open trafficking investigations.
Traffickers use various schemes to decieve and manipulate victims, some of which are:
* Modeling work
* secretarial work
* restaurant work
* hotel work
* work and study abroad plans
* therapeutic massage
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) certified 491 victims of trafficking as of March 15, 2004, allowing them to receive services to the same extent as refugees.
HHS has implemented a public outreach campaign to boost awareness of assistance available to victims. The Rescue & Restore campaign is designed to increase the number of identified trafficking victims and to help those victims receive the benefits and services needed to live safely in the U.S. A critical component of the Rescue & Restore campaign is the creation of the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline, 1.888.3737.888, which connects victims of trafficking to Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) who can help victims in their local area.