End Modern Slavery Initiative awaits president’s signature


U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, which includes legislation authorizing the End Modern Slavery Initiative, currently awaits the president’s signature. U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spearheaded the bipartisan initiative, along with his colleague Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

The initiative will help establish a powerful effort in concert with the private sector and foreign governments to eliminate modern slavery and human trafficking around the globe.

Corker’s office published a press release about the act, summarizing the broad-based support its passage on Nov. 8 has received from advocates, stakeholders, experts and members of Congress:

  • “This is a monumental step towards FREEDOM for the millions of men, women and children trapped in slavery around the world. We believe slavery can end in our lifetime … together we can END IT!”
    — The END IT Movement
  • “The passage of this bill is a game-changer in the fight to end the scourge of modern day slavery, and provides a tremendous opportunity to level the playing field as we seek to free the millions of men, women and children who daily suffer at the hand of a violent oppressor. IJM commends Senator Corker and the full Congress for establishing U.S. leadership in fighting this unthinkable crime against our fellow man.”
    — Tim Gehring, policy director, International Justice Mission
  • “We are thrilled Congress passed this bipartisan legislation to provide critical resources to the underfunded fight against human trafficking. By authorizing these additional funds, the United States is sending a strong message to other governments to step up their own efforts. Too often, severe gaps in services and a lack of governmental commitment to seriously address these crimes let trafficking networks operate unimpeded across the globe. By leveraging these new funds, we can better dismantle trafficking networks and help survivors rebuild their lives. We applaud the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for their commitment to the fight against modern slavery and, in particular, Senator Corker for championing this legislation.”
    — Keeli Sorensen, director of government relations and public policy, Polaris
  • “The U.S. Government has a long history of funding domestic and international programs that combat modern slavery. The authorization of the End Modern Slavery Initiative is a significant step forward to eradicating this heinous crime.”
    — Melysa Sperber, director, Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST)
  • “The expansiveness of this law will enable nations and global organizations address the enslavement of millions of people throughout the world. This law will make a very real impact in achieving our vision of a world free from slavery.”
    — Dave Rogers, U.S. program director, Hope for Justice
  • “Ending modern slavery worldwide will require a multi-sector approach involving cooperation between government, law enforcement, and business. Additional resources to combat human trafficking are critical, and we thank Senator Corker for his leadership in including this important provision in the NDAA.”
    — Annick Febrey, senior associate, Human Rights First
  • “Modern-day slavery in all its forms must be stopped & the End Slavery Act is an important step.”
    — U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

Learn more about the End Modern Slavery Initiative at bit.ly/SlaveryAct.