WASHINGTON—U.S. Representative Chris Smith (NJ-4), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (MD), Co–Chairman, announced today they will hold a hearing next week on human trafficking:
“Labor Trafficking in Troubled Economic Times: Protecting American Jobs and Migrant Human Rights”
Monday, May 23, 2011
2172 Rayburn House Office Building
The global economic downturn has contributed to the exploitation of vulnerable individuals, often women and children, through sex and labor trafficking. Each year tens of thousands of victims are trafficked into the United States from throughout the world in this modern-day form of slavery. Human trafficking is a multibillion dollar criminal enterprise. The U.S. Helsinki Commission held its first hearing on trafficking in June 1999. The United States has been at the forefront of efforts to combat human trafficking in all its forms, including labor trafficking, following adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, sponsored by Chairman Smith.
The Commission hearing will focus on various aspects of labor trafficking, including abusive and illegal business practices as well as ways to better educate potential migrants of their rights. Among other issues to be considered will be increased education and accountability, foreign labor recruiting practices and enhancing supply chain transparency. Labor trafficking remains the most prevalent form of human trafficking in the U.S.
Witnesses scheduled to testify:
- Ambassador-at-Large Luis C. deBaca, U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP)
- Gabriela Lemus, Ph.D. – Senior Advisor and Director, Office of Public Engagement, Department of Labor and Representative to the Senior Policy Operating Group on Trafficking in Persons
- Nancy A. Donaldson, Director Washington Office, International Labor Organization
- Neha Misra, J.D., Senior Specialist Migration and Human Trafficking, Solidarity Center
- Julia Ormond, Actress, Founder of the Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking, and former Goodwill Ambassador to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime