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tv   Ashton Kutcher Testifies on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking  CSPAN  February 15, 2017 4:54pm-5:42pm EST

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message, if you don't eat, you are going to not survive. so it puts your brain in a state of emergency where you will do anything in order to get the drug. purr seefg it as needed to survive. >> jim justice gives his state of the state address. >> you elected me as your governor, a person that had never been a politician, in the wake of me running as a democrat, at a time when donald trump won our state by 17,000 million percent. [ laughter ] >> all c-span programs are available at either on our home page or by searching the video library. actor ashton kutcher was on capitol hill today to talk about modern slavery, and his efforts to fight the child sex trade. he's head of an organization that works with law enforcement to track children and the groups that abuse them.
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he explained his efforts to the senate foreign relations committee. this is about two hours. >> thanks for being here. >> we all know each other, i know. >> how are you?
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>> this is yours, i promise. it's selling heavily across the country. >> how are you? senate foreign relations committee will come to order. >> thank you.
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>> i'm going to re-hit the gavel since people are tied up in the back for a variety of reasons. i want to call the meeting to order. i want to thank everybody for coming today. and for those who are here and traveled extensively to be here, i want to apologize on the front end for what's happening today. we have two votes at 10:30, which means that people will be streaming in and out of the meeting. and secondly, unfortunately, i understand there is a democratic caucus meeting called without talking to some of the chairmen. in any event, that doesn't take away from the importance of this. i just hope that people will bear with us. we're at a historic turning point in the global fight to end modern slavery today thanks to the incredible efforts of so many committed individuals. two of whom are with us today, several are in the audience e and certainly many up here at the dias. faith based groups, aid organizations throughout the u.s., and just people around the
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world have come together around this issue that we're highlighting today. this is the third year we've held a hearing to highlight, shine a light on slavery day. the end-it movement has been building for around ten years. people around the world are now familiar with the scourge on mankind. people have made personal statements about the need to end modern slavery by wearing a red x, like so many of us are doing today. this year, on february 23rd, during a senate recess, this day will take place. in marking end-it day, we highlight the horrific nature of modern slavery. we also highlight progress that's being made as the u.s. prepares to embark on an unprecedented global effort to end this scourge on humanity. we have high nears here for laying the foundation for that. starting with the trafficking victims protection act, there's a growing awareness and
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increasing effective anti-human trafficking work in the united states. this is important, because as we begin to implement the authorization of the end modern slavery initiative to measurably and ramp up our efforts worldwide we can build on what has occurred. i want to thank the people on this committee who passed out several years ago this bill. and then continued to work to make sure after about a two-year process, we actually passed the authorization. i think people understand appropriations are already in place. and now, the real work begins against standing on the shoulders of our witnesses here today and so many others. along the way, we've had -- we've seen efforts to make a difference, as i just mentioned, and our first witness today is mr. ashton kutcher. he's the co-founder of thorn. an organization that works with law enforcement to rescue trafficking victims by leveraging the very technology
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used in -- to abuse and exploit them. we welcome him today. he, by the way, flew all night. he's working right now on a film. so he caught a red-eye in after having dinner with his wife. very smart man on valentine's day. and he's leaving immediately after this. but i'll tell you, if you knew of what he and his organization has done, it's inspirational. and the metrics that they're able to help us with, the way that they're able to interdict in advance now what's happening is phenomenal. and a true testament to entrepreneurialism, and people taking a risk. in this case, towards a social good. i had a few moments with him. i'm even more thankful for him. and his commitment to this. and became interested just by seeing that it was occurring and felt that he could do something about it. we also welcome our second
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witness, mrs. lisa masameno, president and chief executive officer of human rights first, which is engaged in the fight against modern slavery. thank you so much for what you're doing and your testimony today. we're also happy to have with us today the founders of passion movement, and the passion church. louis and shelley giglio, i have to say they are the people who brought awareness to me. they're the people that have instilled the awareness in young people across the country. they want to be a part of ending this. i thank them for their personal inspiration and their inspiration to people around the world every day. we have jenny brown, the campaign director of the end-it movement, who obviously for ten years has been making people aware. in many ways, this awareness is what has led us today. we also would like to welcome mr. tim estes, just serendipitously this has nothing
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to do with our involvement. he is ceo of digital reasoning, which is based in tennessee. they're actually using intelligence to interdict and help with the tools that thorn is putting in place. i also want to thank ernie allen for being here as well. ernie founded the national center for missing and exploited children. one of the greatest leaders on this issue. people in this movement know him well. i also want to welcome former u.s. representative susan molinari from google who has been involved in this, even before being involved with google. so with that, thank you all for being here. it's a great day for us. a lot of work ahead. i would like to introduce our outstanding ranking member ben cardin and my friend. >> mr. chairman, thank you for making this one of the first hearings for the senate foreign relations committee in this congress. it speaks to the priority that we believe that we must pay to modern day slavery.
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and trafficking. we are proud of the progress that we have made in regards to dealing with this issue. it's been thanks to u.s. leadership, many people in this room, susan, nice to see you again. we served together in the house of representatives. it's always a pleasure to have senator mccain on this committee. he served here for a while. i was a little suspicious when i saw him in the facilities. i thought he was coming over to take our office space as well as our injures ticks for the armed services committee. it's always a pleasure -- >> i came to counsel you. >> your counsel is always welcomed. senator mccain is one of our great international champions on human rights. and he's always very kind, and the comments he makes about many of us, but we all have been mentored by senator mccain on his passion to stand up for what
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is right, and to do that regardless of the political consequences, when you stand up for human rights, you're standing up for what makes america the great nation it is. senator mccain, thank you for your incredible leadership. mr. chairman, we've been talking about trafficking for a long time. and quite frankly, it was the u.s. leadership, it was the congressional leadership that made this issue the priority of our nation, and has made progress globally on trafficking. whether it's trafficking for sex, for labor issues, so many areas in which we have seen people abused around the world. i want to thank you for your leadership. it is tough to get anything done in this body, but through your persistent leadership, we've been able to leverage a very small amount of federal funds with private sector dollars that will make a difference globally on our fight against trafficking. and you stuck with it. you got it done.
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and thank you for doing that. i want to thank senator menendez for his leadership on this issue. he's been one of the great champions on trafficking. and standing up for the integrity of the trafficking and persons report. which in the last administration, a democratic administration, there was bipartisan criticism for the manner in which the obama administration we believe brought in factors that should not have been brought in to the rankings on the trafficking and persons report. i'm proud of the work done by the helsinki commission. i had at one time to chair the helsinki commission. it raised these issues in the international forum. chris smith now is our special representative of the parliamentary assembly. he made a career priority of the trafficking. there are members on both sides of the aisle that recognize that this is the modern-day slavery. and we have a responsibility to root this out wherever we find it.
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and it cannot be compromised for other areas. this is something that in and of itself must be our highest priority. so, we can celebrate the success that we've had. but we know that too many people are at risk. i visited victim centers and have seen the victims of trafficking. i've seen the victims of trafficking in europe, i've seefr the victims of trafficking in asia, i've seen the victims of trafficking in the united states. and it's heartbreaking. and we know that there are victims, and we need to recognize them as victims. i want to make one other comment if i might. and that is, there are many reasons i was concerned about the president's executive order on immigration and refugees. but one of the reasons is the impact it has on victims of trafficking. i'm not clear whether those who had tvs who are victims of trafficking could have come into this country under that ban.
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i know that many of the refugees from syria are potential victims, or are victims of trafficking that we are -- that our refugee program has a major impact. we know that the ra hingea population of burr ma were subject to trafficking. many were allowed to come to the united states and were put on hold because of the president's executive order. i urge us as we look at our priorities for protecting those who are victims, that we recognize that we in our zell to protect our nation on things like this executive order, has an impact on protecting people from the scourge of trafficking in modern day slavery. and i would just urge us to make sure that when we say this is going to be our priority, that we are going to protect these victims, that we look for every possible way in order to be able to accomplish these goals.
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as the chairman said originally, i apologize that the democratic members are going to have some conflic conflicts. there's conflicts on four votes. but i must tell you, this is a very, very important hearing and that we thank our witnesses and interest we have from the private sector to work with us to find ways to be more effective in stopping modern-day slavery. >> thank you so much. with that, we'll turn to my friend, and has been mentioned, someone who has been fighting for the rights of people who don't have them all around the world, one of the crankiest members that we have here in the united states senate, but we're glad that he has come to our hearing today. and i want to thank you personally for your and cindy's leadership on this issue. i want to thank you also for allowing the modern slavery initiative to be carried on the ndaa last year. thank you for hanging with us. but showing the leadership you have. i know you're going to make a
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few comments. we appreciate that. and we introduce you now. >> i thank you, mr. chairman. i will now translate the chairman's remarks into english. [ laughter ] in the interest of time, mr. chairman, i would like my statement to be made part of the record. and just say that the reason why i'm here is to thank you, thank senator cardin, thank senator menendez especially, and all members of the committee for this bipartisan effort. if it had not been for yours and senator cardin's tenacity and dedication to this issue, it wouldn't have passed into law as part of the national defense authorization act. so i want to thank you, and i want to thank all members of this committee for their effort and their highlighting this terrible, terrible issue that unfortunately thanks to a lot of
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things including social networking seems to be growing rather than lessening throughout the world. i also want to thank lisa and ashton. ashton, you were better looking in the movies. anyway -- [ laughter ] anyway, i want to -- i want to thank you very much. and personal note, i'm proud of my home state of arizona for being a leader on the issue. i applaud the work of my wife cindy who for years has dedicated her time and effort on this. but i want to thank thorn, especially, for their efforts. and just finally, mr. chairman, this issue is so terrible, and so heart-wrenching, and so compelling, that a lot of times some of us would rather talk about more pleasant things. and so i thank you for everything that you and members of this committee, but especially what you and ben have
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done in furthering this effort. and some day it will pay off. and we will hear from our witnesses, of the compelling stories that are so deeply moving, and i can't think, frankly, of a higher priority. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for coming. we appreciate it. thank you. with that, and setting the stage for the fact that we have 27 million people around the world today that as we sit here in this hearing are living in slavery, 24% of those are in sexual servitude, 76% are living, working and living in cages at night, working in fishing, working in brick kilns, in rug manufacturing. we have two of the best witnesses we could possibly have, and people who have committed their lives and resources to this. our first witness is mr. ashton kutcher. co-founder of the thorn digital defenders of children. and ashton, i just want to say, again, your story, for those
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people who are involved in venture capital, and entrepreneurialism, be uplifting to see what you have done solely to help other people. i look forward to your testimony. our second witness today is lisa masamoni, president, chief executive officer of human rights first. we thank you again for being here. if you would give your testimony in the order introduced, any written documents i have without objection will be entered into the record. again, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. it is an honor to be here. as a young man raised in -- and brought up in the public school system, i pledged my allegiance to that flag every single day. and the honor, maybe one of the
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greatest honors of my life today is to be here. and leverage the work that i've done as testimony that may in some way benefit this nation that i love. i'd like to start by saying thank you to chairman corker for your leadership in this endeavor and to senator cardin. your leadership has been extraordinary. and i'd like to also say thank you to the rest of the committee that has supported this effort. this is a bipartisan effort. and in a country that is riddled with bipartisan separation on so many things. slavery seems to come up as one of these issues that we can all agree upon, and i applaud you for your agreement, and i believe in you and your leadership and your ability to take us out of it. i'm here today to defend the right to pursue happiness.
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it's a simple notion. the right to pursue happiness. it's bestowed upon all of us by our constitution. every citizen of this country has the right to pursue it. and i believe that it is incumbent upon us as citizens of this nation, as americans, to bestow that right upon others, upon each other, and upon the rest of the world. but the right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away. it's raped. it's abused. it's taken by force, fraud, or coversion. it is sold for the momentary happiness of another. this is about the time when i start talking about politics, as the internet trolls tell me to stick to my day job. so i'd like to talk about my day job. my day job is as the chairman and the co-founder of thorn.
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we build software to fight human trafficking in the sexual exploitation of children. that's our core machine. my other day job is a father of two, a 2-month-old and 2-year-old. it is that job that i take very seriously. i believe that it is my effort to defend their right to pursue happiness, and to ensure a society and government that defends it as well. as part of my anti-trafficking work, i've met victims in russia, i've met victims in india, i've met victims that have been trafficked from mexico, victims in new york, and new jersey and all across our country. i've been on fbi raids where i've seen things that no person should ever see. i've seen video content of a child that's the same age as mine being raped by an american man that was a sex tourist in cambodia.
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and this child was so conditioned by her environment, that she thought she was engaging in play. i've been on the other end of a phone call from my team, asking for my help, because we had received a call from the department of homeland security, telling us that a 7-year-old girl was being sexually abused, and that cop tent was being spread around the dark web. and she was being abused and watched her for three years and they could not find the perpetrator, asking us for help. we were the last line of defense. an actor, and his foundation, were the potential last line of defense. that's my day job. and i'm sticking to it. i'd like to tell you a story about a 15-year-old girl in oakland, we'll call her amy. amy met a man online.
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started talking to him. short while later they met in person. within hours, amy was abused, raped, and forced into trafficking. she was sold for sex. this isn't an isolated incident. there's not much unusual about it. the only unusual thing is that amy was found and returned to her family within three days, using the software that we created. a tool called spotlight. and in an effort to protect its capacity over time, i won't give much detail about what it does. but it's a tool that could be used by law enforcement to prioritize their caseload. it's a neural net. it gets smarter over time. it gets better, and it gets more efficient as people use it. and it's working. in six months, with 25% of our users reporting, we've identified over 6,000 trafficking victims, 2,000 of which are minors.
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this tool is in the hands of 4,000 law enforcement officials, and 900 agencies. and we're reducing the investigation time by 60%. this tool is effective. it's efficient. it's nimble. it's better. it's smarter. now, there's often a misconception about technology. that in some way, it is the generator of some evil, that it's creating job displacement, and that it enables violence and malice acts. but as an entrepreneur, and a venture capitalist in the technology field, i see technology as simply a tool. a tool without will. the will is the user of that technology. and i think it's an important distinction. an airplane is a tool. it's a piece of technology. and under the right hands, it's used for mass global transit, and under the wrong hands it can be flown into buildings. technology can be used to enable
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slavery, but it can also be used to disable slavery. and that's what we're doing. i alluded to a phone call we got from the department of homeland security. about this girl that was being trafficked on the dark web. it's interesting to note that the dark web was created in the mid-'90s. a tool created by the naval research lab called tor. a tool with absolute purpose and positive intention. for sharing intelligence communications anonymously. it's also been used to help people who are being disenfranchised by their government, within political dissent in oppressive regimes. but on the other side, it's used for trafficking. for drug trafficking, for web trafficking and human trafficking. it's also the warehouse for some of the most offensive child abuse images in the world. when the department of homeland security called us, and asked for our help, and asked if we had a tool, i had to say no.
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and it devastated me. it haunted me. because for the next three months, i had to go to sleep every night and think about that little girl that was still being abused. and the fact that if i built the right thing, we could save her. so that's what we did. and now, i get that phone call, and greg, wherever you're at, the answer would be yes. we've taken the investigation times of the dark web material, for three years, down to what we believe can be three weeks. the tool is called solace. cons again, i won't go into too much detail about the tool. but it's being used by 40 agencies across the world today in beta. and we believe that it's going to yield extraordinary results. and just like spotlight, it gets smarter and more efficient and more cost effective over time. so where do we go from here?
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what do we need? obviously we need money. we need financing in order to build these tools. technology is expensive to build. but the beauty of technology is once you build the warehouse, it gets more efficient and more cost effective over time. i might be able to present to you a government initiative where next year i come back and ask for less. and to me, that's like -- it seems extraordinary. the technology we're building is efficient. it works. it's nimble. because traffickers change their modus operandi, and we can change ours as well, just as efficiently if not more efficiently as they can. it's enduring. and it only gets smarter with time. we also are collecting data, we have kpis, we actually understand that we're delivering value, we increase our efforts in that area. if we're not delivering value, we shut it down. and it's a quantifiable
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solution. one of my mentors told me, don't go after this issue if you can't come up with a quantifiable solution. we can quantify it and we can make the work that we're doing and the initiatives that you put forth accountable. my second recommendation is to continue to foster these private/public partnerships. spotlight was only enabled by the mccain institution, and the full support of cindy mccain, and a man that i find to be not only a war hero, but a hero to this issue, john mccain. it wasn't just created by them. there was extraordinary support from the private sector. company digital reasoning out of tennessee stepped up to the plate. they offered us effort, they offered us engineers, they offered us support in pro bono work. we've had the support of companies that oftentimes were with each other from google to microsoft to aws to facebook, and some of our other technology
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initiatives, including many, many other private companies. it's vital to our success. these private/public perms are the key. the third thing i'd like to highlight is the pipeline. you know, we sit at the intersection of discovery of these victims, but the pipeline in and the pipeline out are just as vital and just as important in addressing them, just as important. i would like to highlight one thing in particular, that being the foster care system. there are 500,000 kids in foster care today. i was astonished to find out that 70% of the inmates in the prisons across this country have touched the foster care system. 80% of people on death row were at some point in time exposed to the foster care system. 50% of these kids will not graduate high school and 95% of them will not get a college degree. but the most staggering statistic that i found was that foster care children are four times more likely to be exposed
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to sexual abuse. that's a breeding ground for trafficking. i promise you that's a breeding ground for trafficking. but the reason i looked at foster care is that it's a microcosm. it's a sample set that we have pretty extraordinary data around today, even though we can't seem to fix it. a microcosm for what happens when displacement happens abroad, that the consequences of our actions or inactions in the rest of the world. when people are left out, when they're neglected, when they're not supported and not given the love that they need to grow, it becomes an incubator for trafficking. and this refugee crisis, if we want to be serious about ending slavery, we cannot ignore it, and we cannot ignore our support for this issue in that space. because otherwise we're going to deal with it for years to come. the outbound pipeline.
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there's just not enough beds. the bottom line is, once people -- once someone is exposed to this level of abuse, it's a mental health issue. and there aren't enough beds. there's not enough support. and we have to have the resources on the other side. otherwise the recidivism rates are through the roof. it's astonishing. the hierarchy needs are not being met, so people will resort to survival. if this is their means of survival and only source of love they have in their life, that's what they go for. so we have to address the pipeline out. and we have to create support systems on the other end. it's not an entitlement. it's a demand to end slavery. my fourth and final recommendation is the bifurcation of sex trafficking and labor trafficking. they're both abor ration. they're both awful. they're both slavery. and they're both punitive in fact. but the solution sets are highly
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differentiate differentiated. when you look at sex trafficking, a victim is most often present at the incidence of commerce. and this provides an opportunity for drastic intervention. whereas in labor trafficking, the victims are being hid by the manufacturers and merchandisers. and it requires an entirely different set of legislation and proactivity and enforcement in order to shut it down. there's a lot of rhetoric that's going on in the world right now about job creation in the united states. well, if we want to create jobs in the united states, i would ask you to consider eliminating slavery from the pipelines of corporations. because a lot of that slavery is happening abroad. and if we ask those corporations under extreme pressure, if you don't change it, you are going to be penalized. and if you don't clean up that pipeline, it's going to mean trouble. they're forced in two decisions, they can either clean up the
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pipeline abroad or move the jobs to the united states of america where they can be regulated and supported. bringing jobs to america can be the consequence of doing the right thing, or it can be the consequence of doing the wrong thing. but that choice is up to you. now, it's not lost on me that all of this disruption in our marketplace is going to have economic backlash, like that is not lost on me at all. but i ask you, did you believe that abraham lincoln had to consider the economic backlash of shutting down the cotton fields in the south, when he shut down slavery. because i'm sure that weighed on his mind. you know, happiness can be given to no man. it must be earned. it must be earned through generosity and through purpose. but the right to pursue it, the right to pursue it is every man's right.
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and i beg of you, that if you give people the right to pursue it, what you may find in return is happiness for yourself. thank you. >> thank you so much. thank you. lisa? >> thank you, chairman. well, i'm just digesting all of that incredible passion, and intelligence and purpose from you. and feeling regretful that i have to follow it. but thank you also, ashton, for your -- for turning your talent, your profile, your smarts to this important issue. thanks to this committee, particularly thank you to you, mr. chairman, for your outstanding leadership on this issue. we are so grateful for your efforts to promote a stronger american leadership in this fight.
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slavery is a devastating assault on human dignity. perpetrators prey on the most vulnerable among us. refugees, children, the poor. it's a pressing global problem that affects and implicates the united states. it involves multinational supply chains, criminal enterprises, and the very terrorists and extremists that our nation has vowed to combat. it tests our country's willingness to uphold fundamental rights at home. and to challenge other governments to do the same. our country is both a source and destination country for trafficking victims. and traffickers earn an estimated $150 billion annually in the list of profits. while ngos like ours and governments worldwide spend only about $124 million each year to combat it. that is simply not a fair fight. meanwhile, american workers are forced to compete against free labor as companies take advantage of the global failure to enforce anti-slavery laws. increasingly, organized crime
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rings and international terrorist organizations trafficking human beings to accumulate wealth and power. and when refugees fleeing violence in syria, iraq, and other regions with terrorism and political instability, don't have pathways to safety, they become easy marks for extremists to exploit. congress and the administration ought to deepen their commitment to combating slavery, not because of the moral and economic implications, but also because of the national security risks posed by corruption, terrorism and organized crime. our mission is to foster american global leadership on human rights. we believe that standing up for the rights of all peoples, not only is a moral obligation, but of vital national interest and that our country is strongest when our policies and actions match our ideals. for nearly 40 years we've worked to ensure that the united states act as a beacon on human rights in a world that sorely needs american leadership. efforts to end modern slavery
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not only prevents human trafficking here at home but also to ensure that our country sets an example for others. that's why we need to work harder to eliminate slave labor from the american companies and empower federal law enforcement agencies which have deep expertise in prosecuting cross-border organized crime, to focus greater attention on ending the pun ti for traffickers and their enablers. right now, slavery is a low-risk enterprise for the bad guys. according to the state department's most recent trafficking and persons report, there were just over 6,600 trafficking commissions global pli, and 297 were here in the united states. when you consider there are nearly 21 million people enslaved in the world today, that's a pitifully small number. we have to do better. the united states made important progress in the fight against modern slavery, and this committee has really been a key driver of that progress. the bipartisan cooperation and concern that's been demonstrated by this committee is a model for
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the future of our country. today human rights first is releasing a new congressional blueprint for action to dismantle the business of modern slavery, in which we detail additional measures that congress should take. modern slavery is a complex global crime and we have to tackle it using range of strategies. i detail our recommendations and they include using the funds authorized by the end modern slavery act, to combat trafficking globally, and to attract new resources from other governments and private donors. bolstering the victim act to ensure law enforcement and prosecutors have adequate resources to hold traffickers accountable, intensifying enforcement on the slave labor, leveraging the power of the u.s. government. contracting to make sure we're not purchasing goods and services made with slave labor. and shielding the tip report from political influence by passing the bill recently introduced by senator menendez and senator rubio.
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each of those measures is critically important, but we also have to pay attention to prevention. traffickers are ruthless and opportunistic. they are drawn like sharks to those in distress. and it's hard to imagine people in more distress today than refugees. in fact, with the possible exception of vladimir putin, nobody benefits more from the refugee crisis than those in modern slavery. the truth is we simply cannot combat slavery without attending to those most vulnerable to it. today more than ever, that means helping refugees. as the state department explained in last year's tip report, refugees are, quote, prime targets for traffickers, and refugee camps are ideal locations for them to operate. the majority of the world's refugees are women and children. and the u.n. special tour on trafficking reports that since 2011, thousands of them, thousands have disappeared, presumably abducted for purposes of trafficking related exploitation. the u.n. group also said the primary cause of trafficking
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worldwide is increasingly restrictive and exclusionary immigration policies. according to the u.n. high commissioner for refugees, 10% of the world's refugee population is in urgent need of resettlement. yet last year only 1% were moved to places of safety. in light of this crisis, the recent executive order blocking the resettlement of syrian refugees and reducing refugee admissions and resettlement program for the foreseeable future is particularly cruel. turning our backs on the people most vulnerable to slavery, the very people this committee has worked so hard to help, not only breaks faith with our most cherished ideals, but it's a gift to those who profit in human misery. as a nation that once pledged to stand firm, i think it's unconscionable. it's not who we are, it's not what we stand for. leaders from republican and democratic administrations have testified that protecting refugees does not put americans at risk. on the contrary, accepting
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syrian and other refugees actually makes us safer. by helping them, the u.s. safeguards the stability of our allies that are hosting the vast majority of refugees, counters the warped vision of extremists that we're somehow at war with islam, and strengthens our moral credibility. 32 of our nation's most prominent national security leaders, former government officials, including the former secretary of homeland security, michael chertoff, and steve hadley, and former director of the national terrorism center said in this statement, and i quote, despite america's role as a global leader in resettling refugees, many voices call for closed doors rather than open arms. the so-called extreme vetting sought by the administration is already happening. it takes place over many months, it involves multiple law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and the blanket ban that's been proposed would not
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block terrorists, it would -- our nation even national security officials already knew that, but it would block people forced to flee because of persecution and violence inflicted by oppressive regimes and terrorist groups. it will block people who are vulnerable to the violent extremists who profit from the global slave trade. mr. chairman, and members of the committee, i know how deeply you care about ending this scourge of modern slavery. and i urge you to allow your compassion for its victims to inform your position on refugees. anyone who seeks to deprive traffickers of their ability to prey on vulnerable people cannot in good conscience slam the door on refugees. we are counting on you to fight any executive action that would sacrifice more women and children to the global slave trade. in particular i urge you to support senator feinstein's bill that would rescind the executive order. the world is really watching what we do.
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if we want our country to be a global leader in the fight against modern slavery, we can't turn our backs on the very people most likely to become its victims. thank you. >> thank you. ashton, i was going to ask you a different question, but after hearing your opening comments, i'm going to reframe it. i think you shared how you became involved in this. and your compassion and passion for ending it. and we thank you for that. we've embarked on a program now that is a public/private partnership of major proportion. it's where the u.s. would lead. we'd get other governments to help on a 2-1 basis. and the private sector to help on a 3-1 basis, to put in place an effort that would have metrics, an effort where we would measure results, measure the problem, measure results. and i just wonder, based on the experiences that you've had, in
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the private sector, establishing metrics and models to end this scourge on mankind, what kind of advice would you give us as we set up this international effort that's based here, but led by the united states? >> i think my first piece of advice would be to lead with compassion, as you approach these private sector companies. these companies have customers, and they care about their customers and they want their customers to know that they're doing the right thing. and i think great companies have a conscience that promote them to actually do the right thing. you basically said it in your question to some degree, which is, you have to be able to measure results.
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and i oftentimes believe that if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it. and if you can't improve it, you're working blindly. but also, what i would encourage is to ensure that whatever buckets of capital are being deployed, to actually do them -- to deploy that capital in a way where there isn't a risk aversion in shooting for the fences. if what it is you're trying to apply to the issue doesn't have a potential ten-x outcome, but also the same potential to fail, you may not get the results that you want. and as i work with entrepreneurs across the country, the extraordinary thing about the entrepreneurs i've worked with in silicon valley is that they're not afraid to fail. it's unbelievable. as a kid from iowa that was taught about responsibility,
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make sure every dollar counts, they just go for it, like full-blown. if you deploy the capital in a way that allows people the opportunity to fail, but also massively succeed, you may find that you have much greater outcomes than what you do by making the safe choices with the deployment of the capital. in large chunks into, you know, some -- obviously that's the good field -- oftentimes the greatest idea comes when those people aren't afraid to fail. so giving them permission to go -- shoot for the fences, i think is an important piece of the puzzle. >> i'm going to turn to senator menendez. these people are coming back, by the way. we've got a vote that's under way. i think we're going to try to time it where we do both at one time. senator menendez, do you want to go and come back? >> yeah, mr. chairman, i think there's only two minutes left in the vote. so i do intend to come back. notwithstanding the caucus. >> so here's what we're going to
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do. and this is strange, but we're going to recess for just a moment until the next person comes back. and we'll resume. and i apologize for this. but i'm sure lots of people would like to have -- >> i prefer not to talk to no one. >> okay. >> we'll be back. >> although i do it quite often. >> we're in recess until someone returns. thank you.


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