TRAF­FICK­ING

The Idaho Statesman (Sunday) - - OPIN­ION -

eral law en­force­ment to pri­or­i­tize dis­man­tling the crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tions be­hind forced la­bor, sex traf­fick­ing, in­vol­un­tary servi­tude and child ex­ploita­tion.

Fol­low­ing the pres­i­dent’s di­rec­tive, the Jus­tice De­part­ment se­cured a record 499 hu­man traf­fick­ing con­vic­tions in fis­cal 2017, a 14 per­cent in­crease over the pre­vi­ous year. The direc­tor of na­tional in­tel­li­gence el­e­vated hu­man traf­fick­ing to a top pri­or­ity for the U.S. in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity. De­spite a deeply po­lar­ized po­lit­i­cal cli­mate, the Fight On­line Sex Traf­fick­ing Act-stop En­abling Sex Traf­fick­ers Act cham­pi­oned by the White House gained strong bi­par­ti­san sup­port on Capi­tol Hill this year, and in April, the pres­i­dent signed into law this land­mark leg­is­la­tion to fight on­line sex traf­fick­ing.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion is also work­ing to bet­ter iden­tify, pro­tect and as­sist traf­fick­ing vic­tims on their paths to safety and re­cov­ery. In fis­cal 2017, the De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices iden­ti­fied 13,314 po­ten­tial vic­tims of hu­man traf­fick­ing through lo­cal com­mu­nity coali­tions, and be­tween July 2016 and June 2017, the Jus­tice De­part­ment helped more than 8,000 sur­vivors re­ceive ser­vices such as hous­ing, med­i­cal care, le­gal as­sis­tance, ad­vo­cacy and case man­age­ment.

Last month, Pres­i­dent Trump hosted at the White House the Pres­i­dent’s In­ter­a­gency Task Force to Mon­i­tor and Com­bat Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons, mark­ing the first time a pres­i­dent had par­tic­i­pated in this meet­ing. More than 15 fed­eral agen­cies, along with mem­bers of Congress, pledged to take ad­di­tional ac­tion to ad­dress hu­man traf­fick­ing.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is work­ing on many other fronts in this ef­fort. It has com­mit­ted more than $45 mil­lion to the Global Fund to End Modern Slav­ery, a pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ship that cat­alyzes global ef­forts to re­move the eco­nomic in­cen­tives be­hind these hor­rific crimes. The ad­min­is­tra­tion is also mov­ing to mod­ern­ize data col­lec­tion and anal­y­sis. Only with com­plete data and timely anal­y­sis can we iden­tify crim­i­nal ac­tors and pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive ser­vices to vic­tims.

The pres­i­dent’s in­sis­tence on ne­go­ti­at­ing smarter trade deals has in­cluded a spe­cial fo­cus on strength­en­ing the obli­ga­tions of U.S. trad­ing part­ners to set fair la­bor stan­dards and keep sup­ply chains free of goods pro­duced by forced la­bor.

The re­cently an­nounced United States-mex­i­cocanada Agree­ment sets the bar high for fu­ture trade ne­go­ti­a­tions, re­in­forc­ing the Fosta-sesta

Act and en­sur­ing U.S. work­ers won’t have to com­pete with for­eign com­peti­tors who profit from forced la­bor.

Fi­nally, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the re­silient sur­vivors who serve on the U.S. Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on Hu­man Traf­fick­ing, is pri­or­i­tiz­ing ef­forts to en­sure law en­force­ment, im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties and cus­toms of­fi­cials have the train­ing and re­sources to iden­tify vic­tims of traf­fick­ing at U.S. ports of en­try and in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln and the abo­li­tion­ist move­ment gave Amer­ica a unique in­her­i­tance: a prin­ci­pled com­mit­ment to fight slav­ery in all its per­ni­cious forms. This ad­min­is­tra­tion is con­tin­u­ing the fight to end modern slav­ery and us­ing ev­ery tool at its dis­posal to achieve that crit­i­cal goal.

Ivanka Trump serves as ad­viser to the pres­i­dent of the United States. She wrote this for The Wash­ing­ton Post.

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