Senator Bob Corker on Thursday announced passage of his initiative to end modern slavery worldwide. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 (NDAA) overwhelmingly passed the Senate today and includes authorizing legislation for the End Modern Slavery Initiative. The initiative will help establish a powerful effort in concert with the private sector and foreign governments to eliminate modern slavery and human trafficking around the globe. NDAA will now be sent to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
“More than two years ago, we created a bold vision to not only fight the horrific practice of modern slavery, but to put in place an effort to end it, and I am proud to announce that the legislation necessary to launch the End Modern Slavery Initiative will now become law,” said Senator Corker.
“By providing strong U.S. leadership and leveraging our limited foreign aid dollars, this initiative will work with foreign governments and philanthropic organizations to match the funding being provided by the U.S. and create a coordinated effort to implement best practices to stop this crime of opportunity from occurring.”
“We would not be here today without incredible support from countless individuals, organizations and faith-based institutions,” said Senator Corker. “I cannot thank them enough for their support and look forward to working with all involved in the months ahead as we begin to put this initiative into action.”
The legislation authorizes funding for a non-profit, grant-making foundation in the District of Columbia that will fund programs and projects outside the United States. These programs will:
· Contribute to the freeing and sustainable recovery of victims of modern slavery, prevent individuals from being enslaved, and enforce laws to punish individual and corporate perpetrators of modern slavery;
· Set clear, defined goals and outcomes that can be empirically measured; and
· Seek to achieve a measurable 50 percent reduction of modern slavery in the areas the foundation operates.
The initiative will seek to raise $1.5 billion, more than 80 percent of which will come through matching funds from the private sector and foreign governments. Sources of funding are as follows:
· $250 million in funds from the United States over several years ($50 million has been appropriated through fiscal year 2017)
· $500 million from foreign governments (Double the investment of U.S. funds)
· $750 million in private funding (Triple the investment of U.S. funds)
Progress will be tracked against baseline data with a goal of achieving a 50 percent reduction in slavery. Projects that fail to meet goals will be suspended or terminated. The foundation is required to comply with the Government Accountability Office’s mandate to conduct financial audits and program evaluations.