Democracy Promotion: The Best Strategy for Ending Human Trafficking
Recorded on December 7, 2007
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
As America's own national experience illustrates, democracy does
not guarantee the absence of slavery. Similarly, there are
seemingly vital democracies struggling in their efforts to combat
modern day slavery, or trafficking in persons. But, they have
the institutions, if not the political will, in place to move
toward the emancipation of those ensnared in slave labor and sex
trafficking. In contrast, autocracies and weak or 'emerging'
democracies appear less equipped to tackle this issue.
Government ambivalence or even hostility to NGOs and other civil
society actors hinders victim identification; corrupt or complicit
government officials stand in the way of those seeking protection
under 'the law'; women, children and foreign migrant workers lack
protections of their basic liberties. President Bush has
helped raise the moral international bar against this outrage, and
has increased the tools that the U.S. government and others around
the world can use to combat it and assist its victims. But as
recent primetime exposés and the State Department's annual
report on trafficking in persons make clear, much more must be done
to interrupt the demand and overcome deeply-engrained institutional
Join us for a discussion of the nexus between healthy, vital
democratic pluralism and effective anti-trafficking efforts.