July 30 marks World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2015. Each year, USAID publicly declares its commitment to end #humantrafficking and support victims and survivors around the globe. According to International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates, 20.9 million people are currently trapped in modern-day slavery. Men, women, and children all fall into the hands of traffickers both in their own countries and abroad. Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. Slavery, in both its ancient and modern forms, is not only shameful, but as the abolitionist John Wesley said “the execrable sum of all villanies,” and has no place in our world.
In 2013, the UN General Assembly held a high-level meeting to appraise its Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, urging governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to defeat global trafficking. Member States also designated July 30 as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. This resolution declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”
In the United States, following President Obama’s executive proclamation on slavery and human trafficking, USAID launched a new Counter-Trafficking in Persons Policy in February 2012 to reinvigorate and focus Agency efforts to combat trafficking in persons (C-TIP) on concrete, measurable principles, and objectives. We are also expanding investments in countries with global strategic importance and significant trafficking problems, and are strengthening C-TIP programming in conflict- and crisis-affected areas. Our programs draw upon innovation, technology, and private-sector partnerships.