Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress [February 3, 2009]   [open pdf - 874KB]

"Trafficking in people for prostitution and forced labor is one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. The overwhelming majority of those trafficked are women and children. According to the most recent Department of State estimates, roughly 800,000 people are trafficked across borders each year. If trafficking within countries is included in the total world figures, official U.S. estimates are that some 2 to 4 million people are trafficked annually. However, there are even higher estimates, ranging from 4 to 27 million for total numbers of forced or bonded laborers. As many as 17,500 people are believed to be trafficked to the United States each year. Human trafficking is now a leading source of profits for organized crime syndicates, together with drugs and weapons, generating billions of dollars. Trafficking in persons affects virtually every country in the world. […] The State Department issued its seventh congressionally mandated Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report on June 12, 2007. Each report categorizes countries into four tiers according to the government's efforts to combat trafficking. Those countries that do not cooperate in the fight against trafficking (Tier 3) have been made subject to U.S. sanctions since 2003. Sixteen countries were placed on Tier 3 in the 2007 report. On October 18, 2007, President Bush imposed trafficking in persons related sanctions on Burma, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34317
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