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Three Things To Know About the #EndSlaveryAct
A note from our Research and Policy Manager, Tim Gehring:
We are less than two weeks away until IJM's Advocacy Summit, and we know this is a busy time for everyone. As summer winds down and the school year ramps up, hundreds of advocates from across the country are preparing to come to Washington, DC, to meet with their representatives and senators. There are bags to pack, flights to catch, drives to make and various other details to pull together. Why all the bother, even amidst the hustle and bustle of the fall? They're going to be representing IJM on Capitol Hill by advocating for the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act—legislation that is historic in nature by bringing unprecedented resources to combat commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.
The team at IJM is committed to making sure our advocates are well-resourced and prepared for their day on the Hill. There is no shortage of things to think about and keep straight! If you're joining us for the Advocacy Summit or lobbying in support of the bill with IJM, remember: there is no expectation, from us or the Congressional offices, that you will be an expert on this legislation. That is my job! Your greatest strength as a constituent is meeting with your members of Congress and letting them know that people from their districts/states care about legislation that addresses the crime of modern-day slavery.
With that in mind, here are the most important three things to know about the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act:
LEVERAGING FOREIGN AID—The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act is an innovative approach to combatting combat modern-day slavery by relying on public and private money. As you will learn in your meetings with Congressional offices, government budgets, particularly foreign aid, is extremely limited. That is why this legislation is so important. In order to garner the resources necessary to make a significant impact on modern-day slavery, it will take an equally significant investment. One that realistically will not be met just by donor governments but must also involve private sector investment and engagement. Under the legislation, for every $1 that the U.S. Government invests into the End Modern Slavery Initiative, it will receive a return of $5 from the private sector and other governments—a return on investment that both sides of the aisle should support.
FOCUS ON ENDING IMPUNITY—The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act explicitly focuses on developing public justice systems and ending impunity for crimes of modern-day slavery by holding perpetrators accountable for committing these crimes. This approach not only rescues those currently enslaved, but it also serves prevents perpetrators from committing future crimes of modern-day slavery, and thus protects those most vulnerable from being exploited in the first place. IJM believes, and has shown, that this is the quickest, cheapest and most effective way to make a dramatic decrease in this crime.
MEASURABLE OUTCOMES—The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act demands results. In a tight fiscal environment, the U.S. Government should fund programs that have the greatest impact to ensure it is getting the most for its investment.
These are the three most important, most exciting aspects of the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act. By focusing on these points, you will represent the legislation and IJM well. We are looking forward to seeing our advocates in Washington and raising our voices together on behalf of the most vulnerable, powerless people on earth.