Everyone in Washington talks about how they hate human trafficking, and as the crime and awareness of it has grown over the last decade, our government’s efforts to stop it has likewise increased. Both parties have worked together in the fight. However…
Given the size of the problem and the resources of the United States, $150 million is an anemic figure. The U.S. government spends three times that amount every hour. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, generating $150 billion in profits and enslaving an estimated 20.9 million people. Beyond these numbers are human beings, including millions of children, forced into sex and labor trafficking, made to suffer. Surely at this point we all agree that there can be no greater affront to a person’s rights and dignity than slavery.
In order to gain more support to increase the US financial commitment, 70+ organizations have united to form a coalition called Generation Freedom. It consists of human rights organizations, social service providers, faith groups, and other anti-trafficking advocates. The coalition plans to use their collective grassroots power to push the next President to prioritize the issue of human trafficking.
The author says: We’re beginning our work by launching a petition to the 4 million people already active in our organizations, calling on the presidential candidates to spend $3 billion each year toward building a coordinated program to take on human trafficking nationwide and around the globe.
And it is not only about money; it’s also about better law enforcement and better relationships between government agencies and the private sector, as well as cooperation among countries.
[General Charles C. Krulak is the former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and Human Rights FirstBankrupt Slavery Campaign Ambassador. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.]
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