Trafficking in Women and Children: The U.S. and International Response [Updated March 26, 2004]   [open pdf - 107KB]

"Trafficking in people for prostitution and forced labor is one of the fastest growing areas of international criminal activity and one that is of increasing concern to the United States and the international community. The overwhelming majority of those trafficked are women and children. According to the Department of State, between 800,000 and 900,000 people are believed to be trafficked across borders each year worldwide; some 18,000 to 20,000 to the United States...Trafficking in persons affects virtually every country in the world. The largest number of victims are believed to come from Asia. The former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are now believed to be the largest new source of trafficking for prostitution and the sex industry in Europe and North America. Thousands more are trafficked from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Most of the victims are sent to Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe and North America. In 1998, the Clinton Administration and the 106th Congress launched a government-wide anti-trafficking strategy of (1) prevention, (2) protection and support for victims, and (3) prosecution of traffickers. It led to enactment of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-386). The Bush administration and Congress have continued to give priority to the trafficking problem. The State Department issued its third Congressionally mandated report on worldwide trafficking in June 2003. It categorized countries according to the efforts they were making to combat trafficking. Those countries that do not cooperate in the fight against trafficking were made subject to U.S. sanctions, starting in 2003. Thus far, sanctions under this legislation have been applied only to Burma, Liberia, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan." - from Summary

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30545
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