International Justice Mission (IJM) applauds Congress for passing the grant authorization for the End Modern Slavery Initiative within the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA, which passed the House of Representatives last week and the Senate today, now heads to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.
The End Modern Slavery Initiative, which was introduced by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in 2015, seeks to create a focused, sustained effort in concert with the private sector and foreign governments to eliminate all forms of slavery and trafficking worldwide. The provision within the NDAA authorizes U.S. contribution to the End Modern Slavery Initiative at $37,500,000 per year through 2020 and will seek to raise additional funding from other donor governments and the private sector.
Multiple anti-slavery and faith-based organizations, including United Way Worldwide, the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, Polaris, Rotary International, and the END IT Movement have issued support for the End Modern Slavery Initiative.
“While the U.S. Government has been the most generous and reliable donor for anti-slavery programs, the global need overwhelms the current response,” said Tim Gehring, Policy Director for International Justice Mission. “The passage of this bill is a game-changer in the fight to end the scourge of modern day slavery, and provides a tremendous opportunity to level the playing field as we seek to free the millions of men, women and children who daily suffer at the hand of a violent oppressor. IJM commends Senator Corker and the full Congress for establishing U.S. leadership in fighting this unthinkable crime against our fellow man.”
According to the Global Slavery Index, there are an estimated 45.8 million slaves in the world today – more than at any other time in history. The End Modern Slavery Initiative creates a way for the U.S. Government to make a relatively small investment to leverage substantially much-needed additional resources from other donor governments and the private sector to address all forms of slavery and trafficking in the areas where it is most prevalent. The End Modern Slavery Initiative will also increase the data available and establish best practices together with civil society and national governments to promote the most effective anti-slavery programs.
International Justice Mission is the world’s largest international anti-slavery organization, working to end modern-day slavery, human trafficking and other forms of violence against the poor by rescuing and restoring victims, restraining perpetrators, and transforming broken public justice systems. Learn more at www.ijm.org.