Strengthening the End Modern Slavery Initiative (EMSI)

A complex problem affecting an estimated 21 million people worldwide, human trafficking demands comprehensive solutions to achieve the long-term eradication of slavery. Sex trafficking, labor trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, peonage (the involuntary servitude of laborers), and the use of child soldiers—all forms of trafficking according to the U.S. Department of State—constitute exploitation and are therefore clear violations of inherent human rights. To eliminate modern-day slavery, the U.S. must take the lead in advocating approaches that ensure the rule of law on a permanent basis, but its leadership must be rooted in the principle that every life has value and dignity.

Anti-trafficking policy should use all of the tools in the proverbial toolbox. It is essential that trafficking victims have access to legal and judicial protection, as well as rehabilitation and counseling services after they are rescued. To deliver such comprehensive services unquestionably requires time, skill, and funding. In an effort to deliver comprehensive solutions to human trafficking, all funding and programming must be clear in its objectives. The U.S. therefore should: protect the lives of unborn children, condition aid and make sure its purposes are clearly defined, implement quantitative, empirical methodologies to document not only the prevalence of human trafficking, but also the effectiveness of anti-trafficking programs, and empasize rule of law-oriented solutions.

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