According to an article by the Associated Press, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just released the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report. The report ranks 184 countries on their efforts to combat human trafficking, including the United States. Bradley Klapper’s article notes that there are 17 nations listed as “worst offenders,” and that 40 other nations are on a“watch list.”
While the U.S. has long been a global leader in the fight against modernday slavery — against the forced labor and prostitution that primarily target women and children — this Congress has thus far failed to pass a critical piece of anti-trafficking legislation: The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.
This bill would renew the landmark TVPA of 2000, which made human trafficking a federal crime and established the Trafficking in Persons Office to combat trafficking internationally. Fighting slavery has always been a rare point of bipartisan cooperation in Washington. As we approach the Fourth of July holiday and the anniversary of our nation’s being “conceived in liberty,” in the words of President Lincoln, Congress should come together again to rid the world of slavery, once and for all.