Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, June 24, 2003

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Human Trafficking for Slavery, Prostitution
Gallegly Schedules Wednesday Human Rights Hearing

BACKGROUND: Trafficking in people, especially women and children, for prostitution and forced labor is one of the fastest growing areas of international criminal activity. According to the latest U.S. Government estimates, as many as 800,000 people are trafficked across borders each year worldwide for forced labor, domestic servitude, or sexual exploitation. Trafficking is a source of huge profits for organized crime. Generally, the flow of trafficking is from less developed countries to industrialized nations, including the United States (estimates of 20,000 people), or toward neighboring countries with marginally higher standards of living. The largest number of victims trafficked internationally are still believed to come from southeast Asia. The former Soviet Union may be the largest new source of trafficking for prostitution and the sex industry. Many people are also trafficked to Eastern Europe. On June 11, the State Department issued its third annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP), which is mandated by Congress under P.L. 106-386 (the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000). The report rates countries according to whether they meet "minimum standards" with regard to their anti-trafficking commitment and policies. For the first time, the report’s findings carry possible negative consequences for countries not in compliance, including termination of non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance, sanctions, and loss of U.S. support for loans from the IMF and World Bank.

WHAT:
        Oversight hearing, Global Trends in Trafficking and the Trafficking in Persons Report
        Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights, U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly, Chairman

WHEN: 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 25, 2003

WHERE: 2172 Rayburn House Office Bldg.

WITNESSES:

        Panel I:

            John Miller, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State;

        Panel II:
            Rev. Lauran Bethell, International Baptist Theological Seminary of the European Baptist Federation; Holly Burkhalter, U.S. Policy Director, Physicians for Human Rights; Gary A. Haugen, President and CEO; Founder, International Justice Mission; Mohamed Y. Mattar, Co-Director, The Protection Project, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies; Nancy Murphy, Executive Director, Northwest Family Life; Louise I. Shelley, Director, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, American University

Questions expected to be raised during the hearing:

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How has the war on terrorism and the emphasis on homeland security affected efforts to combat human trafficking?

bulletHow would you assess the effectiveness of international cooperation in the area of law enforcement? What weaknesses can be identified?
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Do existing legislation and current U.S. policy adequately take into account the special needs of child victims of trafficking?

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Which major organized crime groups are most heavily involved in human trafficking? Is there any evidence that the stepped-up international effort to combat human trafficking is dissuading criminal organizations from this line of business?

bulletDo reliable statistics exist concerning the HIV/AIDS infection rates among trafficking victims in the United States and other regions of the world?

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