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Role Of America In Human Trafficking

1372 words - 5 pages

The trafficking of human beings for slave labor and sexual exploitation is one of the fastest growing global problems. It has been called the "dark side of globalization" because an enormous upsurge of human enslavement has accompanied a border-free world economy (Miller). Trafficking in persons is a transnational crime that touches people in every nation, and even neighborhoods in this country. The vast reach of human trafficking stunned my own community, when we learned that a 12-year-old Egyptian girl was imprisoned as a domestic slave in the garage of a family home in Irvine, California. Like many victims of trafficking, she was sold by impoverished parents and transported illegally across international borders. While in captivity, she was physically abused, called the "The Stupid Girl", and threatened if she should attempt escape (U.S. Immigration). This young girl is just one of an estimated 2-4 million girls who are globally trafficked every year (Clark).

The United States Government regards human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery, a violation of fundamental human rights, and a threat to national and global security (Trafficking). In recent years, combating human trafficking has become a primary foreign policy objective of the United States Government. (Matar). To support this goal, Congress enacted The Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000 (P.L. 106-386), which directs the Foreign Service to work with other nations to address the international epidemic of human trafficking. Throughout the world, Foreign Service Officers ("FSO's") promote United States polices and programs to eliminate the trafficking in persons. They play a critical frontline role in an ongoing struggle to protect vulnerable people from being exploited.

The Foreign Service advances United States anti-trafficking policy by encouraging and persuading other governments to implement or strengthen their own policies to combat human trafficking. This is difficult because many governments are reluctant to admit the existence or extent of trafficking in their countries. Some have no laws that prohibit trafficking and punish traffickers, or programs to identify, rescue and rehabilitate victims. Others do not enforce existing laws or lack the resources to effectively combat trafficking. The most powerful tool the Foreign Service relies on to convince foreign governments to improve their efforts to end human trafficking is the annual Trafficking in Persons Report ("TIP Report"). The TIP Report, released by the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons ("G/TIP Office"), details the extent of human trafficking in each country. It also suggests specific steps to combat trafficking. Countries that have not made sufficient efforts are placed on a Special Watch List, and given a period of time within which to commence action or risk the loss of United States aid (2004 Victims). Following release of the TIP Report, many governments are...

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