"Truly a monumental day!" - Sen. Bob Corker
On Sept. 14, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) joined together to applaud a $25 million award from the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) for the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS). The funding establishes a bold global fund aimed at dealing a mortal wound to modern slavery and human trafficking internationally as originally conceived and directed by the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act.
"This is a monumental day in the movement to end modern slavery as the U.S. assumes a major leadership role in global efforts to stop this scourge on humanity," said Corker. "I thank the Trump administration for making this award to the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, which is a bold initiative that will leverage investment from the private and public sectors to deploy proven methods for eliminating slavery worldwide. While this initial funding is just the beginning of our work, it represents the culmination of years of effort by so many committed individuals, faith-based groups, and aid organizations without whom none of this would have been possible. I thank them, my colleagues, the administration and our international partners as we embark on what we hope will be a game changer in this fight."
"This funding is an important step in eradicating modern slavery and supporting victims as they rebuild their lives," said Menendez. "At a time when our foreign assistance budget is being squeezed, this innovative effort will bring together public and private sector resources to ensure that the U.S. government and the American people continue to lead the fight to free the over 27 million people that remain enslaved today. I look forward to continuing to support the Global Fund and to working with my colleagues in Congress to do all we can to end modern slavery."
"Most people don't realize there are more slaves today than at any time in history," said Graham. "It doesn't receive a lot of publicity or is a fact that well-known by the general public. In fact, I didn't believe it when I heard it for the first time. But the sad reality is it's true. Today's announcement is a small investment to address the problem and will pay dividends in years to come."
"Combatting the scourge of human trafficking and modern day slavery is one of the most important things the United States can do to alleviate the plight of millions of innocent people and demonstrate our nation's values," said Cardin. "I welcome today's State Department grant for the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, and I am confident that this initial U.S. investment will spur contributions from other countries, the private sector and philanthropic organizations who believe that we can and should work together to end modern slavery."
Today, in 2017, more than 27 million people are enslaved around the world. That's more than at any time in history. Two years ago, with input from leading stakeholders and industry experts, Senators Corker and Menendez proposed a bold, bipartisan initiative to end modern slavery worldwide. Not unlike the role PEPFAR has played in fighting AIDS worldwide, the End Modern Slavery Initiative, which will operate as the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, is designed to leverage limited foreign aid dollars and galvanize tremendous support and investment from the public sector, philanthropic organizations and the private sector to focus resources responsibly where the crime is most prevalent.
Video footage of the announcement available here.