A Call to Action to End Modern Slavery

John J. Sullivan
Deputy Secretary of State
New York City
September 19, 2017

Good afternoon. First, let me thank Prime Minister May for convening this important meeting and for her and the Secretary General’s leadership on this important issue.

As Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump just said so eloquently, combating human trafficking is a foreign policy priority for the United States. We are delighted to take part in this event as we shine a light on the crime of modern slavery.

The United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act provides a comprehensive framework for us to effectively combat human trafficking. Last year, our Department of Justice secured convictions against 439 traffickers – an increase of almost fifty percent from the previous year.

And with the creation of a national advisory council composed entirely of survivors, we hear directly from those most affected by the crime on how to improve our anti-trafficking policies and programs.

But we recognize that despite this progress, we cannot slow down – either at home or abroad.

Earlier this year we highlighted a new Department of State initiative – the Program to End Modern Slavery – which is designed to produce a substantial reduction in the prevalence of modern slavery around the world.

Last week, Secretary Tillerson announced that the Department awarded its first grant of $25 million under this Program to the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, and President Trump also referred to the Global Fund in his remarks before the General Assembly today.

The Global Fund will focus on transformative programs in two key areas:

Country partnerships that feature specific government commitments, and

Industry partnerships to develop cross-border solutions to reduce and prevent forced labor in supply chains.

The Global Fund will also inform and measure the progress of efforts around the world by investing in research on prevalence reduction methodologies and a public knowledge hub where information and good practices can be shared.

In addition to this $25 million investment in the Global Fund, the U.S. Congress has made another $25 million available for the Department's Program to End Modern Slavery in the coming year.

Together with other projects this year and next, the State Department and USAID will invest more than $180 million in results-oriented projects to fight human trafficking globally.

I want to thank Prime Minister May for her steadfast support and for the generous financial contribution to the Global Fund she announced today on behalf of the United Kingdom. We urge other governments and private donors to consider contributions to this cause as well. By working together, we can stop human trafficking in the 21st century. Thank you.