This was originally posted on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's website.

December 21, 2018

Legislation Strengthens U.S. Global Leadership in Fight to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today praised House passage of legislation that strengthens U.S. global leadership in the fight to end modern slavery and human trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017, which amends and reauthorizes international provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protect Act, will modify the criteria for determining whether countries are meeting the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking, highlight the importance of foreign governments taking concrete actions to abolish trafficking, and extend authorizations for U.S. programs to combat trafficking, including the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP). The legislation, which passed the Senate earlier this week, now awaits the president’s signature before becoming law.

“Our collective efforts to place the U.S. at the forefront of the global movement to end modern slavery have the potential to positively impact the lives of millions throughout the world who suffer in bondage,” said Corker. “Now on its way to being signed into law, this legislation will enhance accountability by requiring governments to show concrete action based on credible evidence to stop human trafficking. This scourge on humanity knows no borders or boundaries, and as I leave the Senate, I will remain committed to supporting U.S. and global initiatives to end modern slavery once and for all.”

“Passage of this bill ensures that the United States remains a strong, credible leader in the global fight to end human trafficking,” said Menendez. “After years of political manipulation of the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act makes clear that Congress, on a bipartisan basis, will not allow the report to be politically manipulated ever again. Now more than ever, America must continue to lead the world in advocating for justice, freedom, and human rights. As co-author of the TVPRA, I am proud that Congress is finally reasserting that leadership.”

In 2015, Corker proposed a bold, bipartisan initiative, cosponsored by Menendez, to end modern slavery worldwide that became law in 2016 and now operates as the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS). The GFEMS is designed to leverage limited foreign aid dollars and galvanize tremendous support and investment from the public sector, philanthropic organizations and the private sector to fund projects and organizations around the world working to end modern slavery where it is most prevalent. With support from the administration, the U.S. made a $25 million contribution to the fund in 2017, which attracted a matching donation from the United Kingdom and other private funds. Norway became the most recent country to contribute, announcing a 100 million kroner ($11.6 million USD) contribution this week.

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