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In a strategic move to turn the tables on human traffickers, the House of Representatives passed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Re-authorisation Act of 2017 (H.R. 2200), named after the abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Many of the tools which the United States uses today in combatting human trafficking, stem from the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 2000, a landmark Act. That Act led to the development and publication of the annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) and country Tier rankings, thereby making the issue of human trafficking unavoidable for world governments as they were faced with public exposure of their respective profiles in combating and prevention of human trafficking.

Currently, more than 120 countries worldwide have enacted anti-trafficking legislation and while the recent TIP 2017 Report records that 27 countries were upgraded to a higher tier, the TIP 2017 Report also records 21countries fell to a lower tier, indicating considerable work is required internationally.  

In a statement prior to the vote to approve the 2017 Act, the House of Representative Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mr. Ed. Royce stated ‘’Exposing the harsh reality of human trafficking to international daylight is a central tenet of the legislation…it turns the tables on international traffickers by authorising the State Department to offer and publicise bounties for their arrest and conviction.’’

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.

 

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