Senator Bob Corker appeared on CNN praising the committee passage of the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015 on Friday. Corker’s legislation will create a full force effort combined with the private sector and foreign governments, working to eliminate slavery around the globe. The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act is cosponsored by Robert Menendez, John McCain, Marco Rubio, Jeanne Shaheen, Lamar Alexander, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Coons, Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, Mark Kirk, Ben Cardin and Johnny Isakson.
The U.S. would contribute $250 million over seven years. Foreign governments would add $500 million, and $750 million would come from private donors. The U.S. share comes from existing foreign aid accounts and not require new spending. The White House is in favor of this new legislation. The State Department helped shape the legislation. Corker expects the legislation to reach the Senate floor for a vote. It has gained support from human rights organizations across the nation including the United Way Worldwide and the International Justice Mission. In the interview, Corker was spotted wearing a red X on his hand in honor of END IT’s “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” which raises awareness.
During the interview, he said, “I think you all know that today is END IT day. END IT has done an outstanding job in raising awareness, and now it’s time for us to take action. I’m proud to be the lead sponsor of this bill. Senator Menendez and our entire committee passed it out unanimously, and I think we’re going to do something that will affect millions of people in ensuing years…Anyone who has seen it firsthand would be just inflamed over the fact that it’s a crime of opportunity. People are taking advantage of young people, old people, mothers, daughters, sons, and fathers. And we can do something about it, and we’re getting ready to, and I’m glad that today we’re celebrating the beginning of that effort.”
Human trafficking and sexual servitude trap men, women and children in forced labor in brothels, on fishing boats and in mines, factories and private homes around the world. Human rights groups say training and equipping local law enforcement to catch and imprison traffickers is the most effective strategy in ending modern slavery. Programs eligible for grants from the proposed global fund would have to prove their work reduces the number of people trapped in slavery by at least 50 percent. The legislation includes a plan to enforce a rule of law to hold perpetrators of modern slavery accountable.