Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. and International Response
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Trafficking in people for prostitution and forced labor is one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. The overwhelming majority of those trafficked are women and children. According to the most recent Department of State estimates, between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across borders each year. If trafficking within countries is included in the total world figures, official U.S. estimates are that 2 to 4 million people are trafficked annually. However, there are even higher estimates, ranging from 4 to 27 million for total numbers of forced or bonded laborers. As many as 17,500 people are believed to be trafficked to the United States each year. Human trafficking is now considered a leading source of profits for organized crime, together with drugs and weapons, generating billions of dollars. Trafficking in persons affects virtually every country in the world. Traffickers exploit poverty, war, natural or man-made disasters, and ignorance. Since enactment of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 P.L. 106-386, the Administration and Congress have given priority to the human trafficking problem. In December 2005, Congress adopted the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 P.L.109-164, signed into law by the President on January 10, 2006, authorizing appropriations for FY2006 and FY2007, and amending previous laws to strengthen anti-trafficking policies and programs.
- Sociology and Law