Slavery in the United States: A Brutal Reality
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Traffickers use force, fraud, and coercion to maintain control over their victims. They often lure victims into sexual exploitation or forced labor with false promises of legitimate employment, further education, or a better life, or by threatening serious harm against the victim or the victim’s family. Traffickers may assault and rape victims, physically confine and isolate them, and monitor victims’ every movement. Women and girls can be trapped in situations such as forced prostitution, sweatshop labor, or around-the-clock domestic servitude. While immigrant women and girls may be trafficked inside the United States, as many as 17,500 people are believed to be trafficked into the United States each year.
Federal Advocacy to End Trafficking
To fight human trafficking, enable victims to escape, and hold traffickers accountable, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and has reauthorized it several times. Among other things, this important federal law created international and domestic grant programs, new criminal laws, and protections against deportation for immigrant victims who cooperate in criminal investigations and prosecutions. However, much more must be done to end trafficking in the US and to protect and empower survivors. Tahirih Justice Center supports campaigns to strengthen the laws that help trafficking victims to access justice and to prevent backsliding in these critical protections.
Local Advocacy to End Trafficking
As a national organization with offices in Atlanta, Baltimore, Greater DC, Houston, and the San Francisco Bay Area, Tahirih engages in advocacy at the state and local level on behalf of trafficking survivors. We sit on state anti-trafficking coalitions, pursue statewide anti-trafficking campaigns, and coordinate with other NGOs and with local, state, and federal agencies to improve anti-trafficking and victim-services efforts. Tahirih also supports legislative initiatives that ensure that those who have been trafficked are treated fairly in the criminal justice system.