It was an honor to chair this Administration’s second meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. I was pleased to be joined by several members of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking – each of them profiles in courage and leadership. I was also honored to present the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons to Truckers Against Trafficking Executive Director Kendis Paris and the Responsible Business Alliance.
This Task Force meeting underscores the Administration’s strong commitment to combat human trafficking and inspire engagement across the federal government throughout the following year, which will mark the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. In today’s meeting, we discussed some key State Department initiatives.
I am proud to announce the State Department has expanded coverage of our In-person Registration Program beyond the Washington, D.C. region to workers employed by consular personnel in the New York metropolitan area and in Houston, Texas. The U.S. Mission to the United Nations also launched an In-person Registration Program for domestic workers employed by members of the UN Permanent Mission community. Looking ahead to 2020, the program will expand to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and will cover domestic workers employed by UN personnel. This expansion will allow us to enhance protection and oversight of foreign domestic workers employed by foreign mission and international organization personnel present in the United States.
We’ve also enrolled expert survivors in the Human Trafficking Expert Consultant Network. The Network works with the U.S. government to incorporate survivor input into our anti-trafficking work, and compensates survivors for their expertise. As one example, we plan to work with the consultant network in the coming year to develop a toolkit to ensure that every U.S. embassy and consulate understands the best way to engage with potential victims and survivors, such as during consular interviews and shelter visits.
I’m excited to announce the Department’s third investment of $25 million in the Program to End Modern Slavery, bringing the total U.S. investment to $75 million and making it our largest anti-trafficking program. The State Department grantees under this program include the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, the University of Georgia Research Foundation, and now the Freedom Fund. Congress created this program to measurably reduce the prevalence of human trafficking in targeted populations and regions around the world.
Finally, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act next year, the State Department will release a commemorative publication to highlight the U.S. government’s anti-trafficking efforts over the past two decades and help bring focus to future efforts. We will also issue our 20th Trafficking in Persons Report, which will reflect on developments since our first report and its influence over the years. Since 2000, the Report has encouraged the enactment and implementation of anti-trafficking laws throughout the world. We have also begun working with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Palermo Protocol at the Conference of Parties in Vienna, Austria in October of next year.
The Trump Administration is committed to ending human trafficking for its estimated 25 million global victims. Modern slavery simply has no place in the world.