Human Rights Watch,
Campaign Against the Trafficking Of Women and
ACT NOW! If you are a United States citizen, make your voice heard by demanding that your representatives support an effective Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking.
Urge your representatives in Washington to support an Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking that:
- Focuses on all forms of forced labor, not just forced prostitution;
- Examines and exposes government complicity and corruption with regard to trafficking;
- Ensures that trafficking victims are protected from retaliation by those involved in trafficking while investigations are underway;
- Ensures that governments make good-faith efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers; and
- Ensures that trafficking victims have access to adequate and timely medical, social, legal, and other services, rather than be treated like immigration scofflaws.
Send a message to your Representative and Senator asking for support of this kind of Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking!
Copy the sample letter below and fill in your zip code in the box below (you will be taken to the website of
congress.org and will be given a list of your representatives and how to contact them):
Dear [ENTER SENATOR OR CONGRESSPERSON'S NAME]:
I am writing to urge you to ensure that the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, which will provide assistance to the Interagency Task Force to Combat Trafficking, be a genuine and effective tool to protect the rights of trafficked people. Please meet with or write Secretary of State Colin Powell to express your support of the office's work and to voice your concerns about how placement of the office within the Department of State may ultimately affect its effectiveness.
I understand that the Secretary of State is considering placing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), with a deputy and other staff assistance from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). Regardless of where the office is placed bureaucratically, I urge you to send a clear message that controlling and punishing undocumented migration was not the goal of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, but that protecting trafficked people's rights was.
Please urge the Secretary of State to ensure that, among other things, the office will focus on all forms of forced labor, not just forced prostitution; examine and expose government complicity and corruption with regard to trafficking; ensure that trafficking victims are protected from retaliation by those involved in trafficking while investigations are underway; ensure that governments make good-faith efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers; and ensure that trafficking victims have access to adequate and timely medical, social, legal, and other services, rather than be treated like immigration scofflaws.
These goals will be advanced far more effectively if the Secretary of State ensures that first, the director of the office has a thorough understanding of not only the substance of trafficking as a global issue but also the protections that international human rights law affords trafficked people; second, the office has strong political support to command the cooperation of relevant regional and functional bureaus, so that it may effectively discharge its mandate; and last, particularly with regard to the assistance it provides the Secretary of State in preparing the annual report on measures countries are taking to combat trafficking, the office remains immune to politicization and interference.
Your intervention is needed urgently to ensure that the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking is an effective instrument to promote and protect the human rights of trafficked people.
[ENTER YOUR NAME]