March 07, 2017

Senate Unanimously Approves Corker Resolution on Ending Modern Slavery

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today applauded unanimous Senate passage of his resolution to raise awareness about modern slavery and human trafficking. February 23rd marked the END IT Movement’s fifth annual “Shine a Light on Slavery Day.” To help kick off the awareness campaign, Corker held a hearing to assess progress by the U.S. to end sexual servitude, bonded labor, and trafficking. He also later visited the Vatican where he met with officials about a wide range of issues, including the global fight to end modern slavery.

“Passage of this resolution reaffirms the movement to end modern slavery and human trafficking worldwide,” said Corker. “There is tremendous progress being made as the U.S. prepares to embark on a global effort to end this scourge on humanity. The incredible dedication of so many individuals, organizations and governments for this cause is inspiring and will continue to drive this initiative forward in the days ahead.”

Today, in 2017, more than 27 million people are enslaved around the world. That’s more than at any time in history. Two years ago, with input from leading stakeholders and industry experts, Senator Corker proposed a bold, bipartisan initiative to end modern slavery worldwide. Not unlike the role PEPFAR has played in fighting AIDS worldwide, the End Modern Slavery Initiative is designed to leverage limited foreign aid dollars and galvanize tremendous support and investment from the public sector, philanthropic organizations and the private sector to focus resources responsibly where the crime is most prevalent. In December, President Obama signed legislation into law that included authorizing language for the initiative.

Text of the resolution is below and available online here.

S. RES. 68

Raising awareness of modern slavery.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

FEBRUARY 27, 2017

Mr. CORKER (for himself and Mr. CARDIN) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

Whereas it is estimated that tens of millions of children, women, and men around the world are subjected to conditions of modern slavery;

Whereas the International Labour Organization estimates that modern slavery generates more than $150,000,000,000 in criminal profits each year;

Whereas, despite being outlawed in every nation, modern slavery exists around the world, including in the United States;

Whereas, around the world, 55 percent of forced labor victims are women or girls, and nearly 1 in 5 victims of slavery is a child;

Whereas global leadership continues to coalesce around real and coordinated actions to end modern slavery, as exemplified in statements by senior officials such as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who has stated, ‘‘Britain is leading the way in pioneering international efforts to crack down on modern slavery—one of the great scourges of our world—wherever it is found.’’;

Whereas, on December 23, 2016, the End Modern Slavery Initiative, a bipartisan initiative, was authorized to help establish a powerful effort in concert with the private sector and foreign governments to eliminate modern slavery and human trafficking around the globe; and

Whereas, each year, individuals around the world join together to call for an end to modern slavery by symbolically drawing a red ‘‘X’’ symbol on their hands to share the message of the END IT movement: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) commends each individual who supported the END IT movement on February 23, 2017;

(2) notes the dedication of individuals, organizations, and governments to end modern slavery; and

(3) calls for concerted, international action to bring an end to modern slavery around the world.

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