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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Human Trafficking - International and National Implications

Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 10:00am
2255 Rayburn House Office Building


Human trafficking is one of the most serious threats to the protection of human rights, as it exploits the most vulnerable populations in the most vulnerable circumstances in a predatory manner, both within and across international borders. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA; P.L. 106 – 386) defines human trafficking as inducing a person to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion. Any persons under age 18 who perform a commercial sex act are considered a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion was present. People who are trafficked are denied basic freedoms, are extremely vulnerable to global health risks, and are sold and resold within rapidly spreading organized crime networks.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates at least 12.3 million children and adults are in forced labor, bonded labor, and commercial sex servitude at any given time. INTERPOL estimates human trafficking to be a $28 billion enterprise. The most comprehensive and far-reaching governmental report in the United States is the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which was mandated in the TVPA. The primary objective of this report is to “[free] victims from this form of modern-day slavery.” The legislation further requires the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP) to promote global awareness regarding human trafficking, to develop country-specific strategies to help foreign governments to better tackle the problem of trafficking, and to classify their accomplishments or failures to adhere to minimum standards in a tier system.

If you have any questions, please contact 202-225-3599.

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Frank R. Wolf, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC


Panel I

  • Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State
    Written testimony

Panel II

Panel III

  • Dallas Jessup, founder, Just Yell Fire, a NGO protecting teenage-girls from trafficking
    Written testimony
  • Deborah Sigmund, Director, Innocents at Risk, a NGO raising awareness of trafficking
    Written testimony
  • Sandra Fiorini, flight attendant, graduate of DHS "Operation Blue Lightning," which combats trafficking on commercial airlines
    Written testimony
  • Selene Martin, Director, LexisNexis Cares, a public-private initiative to provide trafficking case management.
    Written testimony


111th Congress