Holly's News From Washington

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: Holly's News, Holly's News; Human Trafficking Prioritization Act; Congress September 22, 2014
Holly Burkhalter

The House and Senate adjourned this weekend for a long Congressional recess.  There will likely be a short lame-duck session after the elections, and then the new Congress will be in the saddle in January. 

They left a heap of unfinished business.  A big disappointment was the Senate’s failure to pass S.1249, a bill that would designate the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) a Bureau. The measure breezed through the House in July. We’d hoped that the House adoption would be wind under the Senate’s wings. Another help are the Senate’s own 37 cosponsors – a strong, bipartisan group, which includes 5 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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The people behind the electronics: New study takes a comprehensive look at forced labor in the Malaysia

by Clara Campbell / Topic: forced labor, Slavery September 17, 2014
verite forced labor Today, Verité released a new study, the result of a research project aimed at determining whether forced labor does in fact exist in the production of electronic goods in Malaysia. 

Verité's CEO, Dan Viederman, says, “Verité’s study is the most comprehensive look at forced labor in the Malaysian electronics sector to date. Our report provides a clear sense of the scope of the problem in the industry, as well as the root causes underlying this egregious form of abuse, which center on unlawful and unethical recruitment practices.”

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Close to home: How does YOUR state rate in the fight against human trafficking?

by Clara Campbell / Topic: Human Trafficking, State Polaris Project Rating September 17, 2014
2014 State Ratings on Human Trafficking Laws

It can be easy to let ourselves think that human trafficking is solely an international problem, but reports like the one released by Polaris remind us that human trafficking is very much a problem right here in the United States as well. This is all of our fight, and it is critical that we have the information and data we need so that we can consider the best approaches to stopping human trafficking.

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OP-ED | Missing from the UN's agenda: Everyday Violence

by Erica Boonstra, Tim Gehring / Topic: The Locust Effect, everyday violence, UN, MDG September 10, 2014

Earlier this month, UNICEF released a staggering report on violence against children. The report, Hidden in Plain Sight, reveals that violence is as much a part of poverty as hunger, illness, or lack of access to education, but it is much harder to see.  Its publication is timely, as the UN General Assembly convenes in New York City later this month to mark one year until the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals are announced. These goals will set a new global agenda for governments, development agencies and NGOs to address poverty and promote sustainable development.

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Highways and Byways: A motorcycle ride for justice

by Lauren Walker / Topic: justice August 28, 2014
Lauren Walker

The end of the summer brings last-minute trips to the beach, bonfires at night and crispness in the air. For two IJM advocates, though, the end of summer also marks the beginning of an exciting adventure: a motorcycle trip for justice!


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California: It's time to call Governor Brown!

by Kate Case / Topic: Child Sex Trafficking in California, Safe Harbor August 27, 2014
Call Governor Brown!

Hello, Californians!


We need YOU to join IJM in speaking up against human trafficking today. Will you help us by making a phone call to Governor Brown?

It's really easy, and we've got all the information you need. Here's what to do:

Dial Governor Brown's office at +1 (916) 445-2841

When the office answers the phone, say the following, replacing text in BOLD with the appropriate details.

Hi! My name is [YOUR NAME] from [YOUR HOME TOWN], California.

Would you be willing to pass along a message to Governor Brown? 

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Washington: We need you to call your senators today!


Hello, Washington!


We need YOU to join IJM in speaking up against human trafficking today. Will you help us by making 2 phone calls?

It's really easy, and we've got all the information you need. Here's what to do:

Dial 1 866 720 FREE (3733)

Ask for (1) Senator CANTWELL and for the next call, (2) Senator MURRAY.

When the office answers the phone, say the following, replacing text in BOLD with the appropriate details.

Hi! My name is [YOUR NAME] from [YOUR HOME TOWN], Washington.

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We've got unfinished business: keep our issues alive during the August recess!

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: H.R.2283, S.1249, Human Trafficking Prioritization Act, Holly's News, Congress August 13, 2014
Holly Burkhalter

It’s August and Washington, DC has slowed down considerably – especially if you’re in traffic and trying to make it to Nationals Stadium in time for the first pitch.  The House and Senate are on recess and overworked legislative staff who haven’t seen daylight for months have either left town altogether or are wearing jeans to work and taking it sloooow…

Legislators may have put policy issues behind them this month, but there are big problems waiting for them when they return after Labor Day. None of the annual spending bills have passed the Senate, the emergency supplemental aid to address the Central American immigration crisis hasn’t been passed, and there are hundreds of Presidential appointments to various government posts that await Senate confirmation.

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What the majority of people may not know - and what you can do to change that

by Nahrie Chung / Topic: modern day slavery, Human Trafficking, Congress August 13, 2014
looking out the window

A bright, amicable woman stood out in the hallway and waved excitedly to us.


“Are you here for the documentary screening?” she asked eagerly, and when Tim and I nodded, she introduced herself as Jaime Saul, executive producer of the film we were about to watch. Inside what is normally a full-fledged committee hearing room, the film’s director, Grant Knisely, welcomed us warmly and thanked us for coming. As the House had passed a package of trafficking bills (our HTPA bill included) just days before, and given the anticipation of the UN’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, the timing of this film could not have not been better.


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#2 in our series: Meet the team! Here's Melanie Beilfuss.

by Clara Campbell / Topic: Meet the team, Government Relations and Advocacy August 13, 2014
Melanie delivers advocacy postcards

On the Government Relations & Advocacy (GRA) team at IJM, we are always interested in getting to know you and talking about how you can get involved in the fight to end slavery, but we realize that it might be nice for you to get to know our team, too! So, we’ll be doing a little blog series, featuring Q&A with each member of the GRA department. This will be your backstage pass to our legislative and advocacy programs, and an opportunity to learn more about the men and women who make up the team.

How it will work: Clara Campbell, GRA's Online Campaigns Manager, will interview each of the members of the team. There will be a mix of serious and fun questions, and ideally, after reading each post, you'll feel like you have a better idea who we are.

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