Exploiting Americans on American Soil: Domestic Trafficking Exposed, Hearing Before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, One Hundred Ninth Congress, First Session, June 7, 2005 [open pdf - 219KB]
From the opening statement of Christopher H. Smith: "For almost a decade, the Helsinki Commission has pressed countries that participate in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe--and have pressed them very hard--to take decisive action to address the trafficking of human beings for labor and sexual exploitation. As a result of strong leadership from the U.S. Government at the Istanbul summit in 1999, the OSCE participating States committed 'to end violence against women and children, as well as sexual exploitation and all forms of trafficking in human beings.' All OSCE participating States, including the United States, are bound to implement that commitment. In the last 6 years, governments around the world have awakened to this thriving international trade based on the exploitation of human beings, the denial of human liberty, and the destruction of human dignity. Much of this progress has been spurred by legislation which I authored, by the intense diplomatic efforts made by the State Department and by political commitment at the highest levels, including President Bush. Last Friday, the State Department issued its fifth annual 'Trafficking in Persons' report, which is mandated by Congress in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, or Public Law 106--386. The U.S. Government estimates that, in addition to the 600,000 to 800,000 women, children and men bought and sold across international borders every year and exploited for forced labor or commercial sex, many are trafficked internally within the borders of individual countries. When internal trafficking victims are added to the estimates, the number of victims annually is in the range of 2 million to 4 million. Today the Commission continues its commitment to eradicating this human rights abomination by turning the spotlight on the problem of domestic trafficking, the trafficking of American citizens and nationals right here in the United States."
CSCE 109-1-11; Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe 109-1-11
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html