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The Smith-Gejdenson Act provides a comprehensive plan for putting an end to modern-day slavery. A key component of this plan is the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report. This report is intended to inform the President and the Congress about which foreign governments are making serious efforts to combat the most egregious forms of trafficking in persons—the buying and selling of women and children into the international sex industry, and the trafficking of men, women, and children alike into slavery and involuntary servitude—and which governments are failing to make such efforts.
At today’s hearing, the Committee will hear testimony on the State Department’s second annual Trafficking in Persons Report. This year’s report is particularly important because it is intended to serve as a final ‘‘wakeup call’’ to governments which are doing little or nothing to combat human trafficking. This is because the Trafficking Victims Protection Act contemplates that the United States will withdraw non-humanitarian aid from governments which remain on the ‘‘Tier Three’’ list after the next year’s report. The ‘‘Tier Three’’ governments are those that not only fail to meet minimum international standards for combating human trafficking, but who are not even making serious efforts to bring themselves into compliance with these standards.