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Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

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Congressional rept.

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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, roughly 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 some 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 a leading source of profits for organized crime syndicates, together with drugs and weapons, generating billions of dollars. Trafficking in persons affects virtually every country in the world. Since enactment of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 P.L. 106-386, the Administration and Congress have aimed to address the human trafficking problem. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 TVPRA, which President Bush signed into law on January 10, 2006 P.L. 109-164, authorized appropriations for FY2006 and FY2007. The State Department issued its eighth congressionally mandated Trafficking in Persons TIP Report on June 4, 2008. Each report categorizes countries into four tiers according to the governments efforts to combat trafficking. Those countries that do not cooperate in the fight against trafficking Tier 3 have been made subject to U.S. sanctions since 2003. The group named in 2008 includes a total of 14 countries Algeria, Burma, Cuba, Fiji, Iran, Kuwait, Moldova, North Korea, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law

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