Turn On the Light | Help Stop Human Trafficking

Most of us take comfort knowing that slavery ended in the United States 150 years ago with the Emancipation Proclamation and the passage of the 13th Amendment.

But, sadly, a 2014 U.S. Department of Labor report identified 136 goods from 74 countries around the world that were made by forced labor and child labor, meaning that slavery still exists around the world.

As the world's largest importer, many of those goods are probably in the U.S. market, and the result is that all of us have inadvertently become consumers of trafficked products.  Even though we can all agree that modern-day slavery is inhumane and an affront to the dignity of its millions of victims around the world, we struggle to escape the complexity of global supply chains.

This is an unbearable contradiction that we should not accept.  Because modern-day slavery can only exist in the shadows of global supply chains,


Consumers have a right to know whether their products are the result of child labor, forced labor, slavery or human trafficking.  We can demand that companies publicly share information about their products' supply chains.

And, thankfully, there is a bill before Congress right now that would do just that.

The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act (H.R. 3226/S. 1968) would require companies to publically disclose information about their supply chains.  If enacted, it would play an important role in fighting human trafficking. 

Legislation like this has the potential to impact millions of lives, but it won’t get signed into law unless we act.

What needs to happen? 

The Business Supply Chain bill needs your members of Congress to co-sponsor and support it so that it will move through the legislative process. 

What can you do? 

If your CRS Student Ambassador group is looking for one more thing to do before the semester ends, send a message to your Senators and Representative asking them to co-sponsor the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015.  (Find out who your Senators and Representative are here and see who’s already co-sponsored here.)

What are three easy ways to do this?

  1. Use social media
    • Share this video on your Facebook page.
      • Or, post a message like this on Twitter:
        • Be part of the solution to end #HumanTrafficking and #ModernDaySlavery. Take action now:
      • Or, use social media to ask your Members of Congress to co-sponsor by tweeting something like:
        • [Senator’s handle], please help us fight human trafficking and co-sponsor S1968, the anti-human trafficking bill.
        • [Rep’s handle], please help us fight human trafficking and co-sponsor HR3226, the anti-human trafficking bill.
    • Respond to this action alert
      • Then share it with your networks.
    • Do a letter drive or collect signatures on a petition.
      • Here is a downloadable letter you can edit and send:
        •   FileHuman Trafficking letter to Congress.docx
        •  It’s a good idea to mail the letters or petition signatures to a local office but then scan and email them to the DC office as well. 
        • Want to make your petition more effective?  Hand deliver them to a local office.  Make sure you call ahead and let the office know you’re coming.  Dropping letters off in person is a great way to reinforce your message by asking a staffer face-to-face if the member will co-sponsor.

    Finally, after you do something, let CRS know!  If we know that a Member’s office received letters, we can follow up with their office in DC and amplify your efforts.  Email or contact your CRS representative to let us know what you’re doing on campus.  Feel free to email us with questions, too!

    For more information: