Culture and Society

What is being done to stop human trafficking?
Answered by Jacob Silverman
  • Jacob Silverman

    Jacob Silverman

  1. In the United States, federal task forces have been created to address human trafficking. In an 18-month period between 2008 and 2010, there were 2,515 potential trafficking incidents investigated, leading to 389 confirmed incidents [source: BJS]. The FBI runs a human-trafficking reporting service and hotline and also is part of the Human Smuggling Traffic Center, a multi-agency task force that monitors the trafficking of people [source: FBI].

    The United Nations, too, has taken a vigorous approach to combating human trafficking, but barriers remain regarding enforcement and prosecution, particularly in countries with ineffective law enforcement or where organized crime (a major participant in trafficking) is endemic. More than 130 countries have signed or are party to the "U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children" [source: United Nations]. The U.N. also works with individual countries on how to address human trafficking -- from training law enforcement in how to spot victims to how to assist them -- and has encouraged the adoption of specific anti-trafficking laws.

    A number of organizations exist that are specifically dedicated to stopping the trafficking and exploitation of persons. The Polaris Project is one prominent example; it operates a 24-hour national trafficking hotline and conducts a range of activities, including social services, advocacy and public education. Similar organizations include Not for Sale, Plan USA and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. Many of these groups emphasize education and spreading awareness, utilizing the power of the media. The Not For Sale campaign, for example, promoted a CNN documentary called "The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery."

    The United States is not the only country with organizations dedicated to combating trafficking. From Afghanistan to Vietnam, Germany to Liberia, groups fight to end the sale, abuse and exploitation of innocent people. Many of them can be found online and provide more information about their services and other anti-trafficking efforts.

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