Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, March 2007.


This is the first time in the history of the Senate that we have created a Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. I think it’s crucial at this point in time. Repressive regimes that violate human rights create fertile breeding for terrorism, war, poverty, and exploitation. Our Nation and our world will never be fully secure as long as fundamental human rights are not honored. Our first hearing was just last month. We addressed the issue of genocide and the rule of law, focusing on the mass killings and genocide in Darfur. I’m proud to say that, as a result of that hearing, we’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to promote divestment in Sudan and to expand the reach of U.S. law so that we can prosecute non-U.S. nationals who are in this country for crimes of genocide they committed abroad. We will continue to try to make this a Subcommittee that focuses on legislation, not just lamentations. Today we’re going to take up a topic which may be as old as mankind. From the beginning of time there has been evidence of exploitation and slavery. We haven’t been spared in our generation. At today’s hearing, we will consider the issue of human trafficking. Few issues in the world today raise as many human rights implications as this insidious practice. It’s estimated that one million people are trafficked across international borders each year, pressed into labor, servitude, or commercial sex by the use of force, fraud, and coercion. Human trafficking represents commerce in human misery. As an introduction to today’s hearing, I would like to show a very brief video on human trafficking. It begins with a short public service announcement put together by the United Nations to help raise awareness of the issue. The second part of the video is an interview with a trafficking victim from Cambodia. The purpose of these videos is to put a human face on the issue that we will talk about today.