WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today praised committee passage of legislation that strengthens U.S. global leadership in the fight to end modern slavery and human trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017, which amends and reauthorizes international provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protect Act, will modify the criteria for determining whether countries are meeting the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking, highlight the importance of foreign governments taking concrete actions to abolish trafficking, and extend authorizations for U.S. programs to combat trafficking, including the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP).
“Combatting modern slavery is a cause that should unite every country in the world, and through today’s committee passage, we’re sending a clear signal that we expect a better coordinated, more accountable global process to continue making inroads against this pernicious stain on humanity,” said Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I thank my colleagues and look forward to full Senate passage as we continue our bipartisan efforts to end human trafficking.”
“As the U.S. assumes an even greater leadership role in the global fight against modern slavery, this legislation will enhance accountability by requiring governments to show concrete action based on credible evidence to stop trafficking,” said Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “This scourge on humanity knows no borders or boundaries, and I remain committed to U.S. efforts that will seek an end to trafficking and modern slavery worldwide.”
“Human trafficking is one of the most serious human rights abuses of our time, and the United States must continue to lead the fight in eliminating modern-day slavery,” said Rubio. “I am proud to have worked with my colleagues on a bipartisan bill that will bring greater accountability to governments’ efforts to combat human trafficking globally and increased transparency to the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report.”
“I am very pleased that the Foreign Relations Committee today passed this common sense bill to ensure the United States reasserts its commitment and credibility to the TIP report ranking process through bold reforms,” said Menendez. “Incorporating important provisions from my Trafficking in Persons Report Integrity Act, this legislation injects transparency and makes clear that Congress will not allow the report to be a target of political manipulation again. Now more than ever, America must continue to lead the world in advocating for justice, freedom, and human rights, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to swiftly pass this vital proposal and send it to the President’s desk for his signature.”