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A solution to this problem is a legal system allowing authorities to initiate investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking offenses without a complaint filed by the victim or a private individual. This can take the form of a proactive investigation into organized crime networks or a system that allows the state, rather than the victim, to file the complaint, an innovative legal reform recently announced by the Government of Argentina for forced labor cases.

India-USA Ravi was among hundreds of workers lured to the United States from India by an oil rig construction company operating in the Gulf Coast. Lacking skilled welders and pipefitters to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina struck the area in 2005, the company brought Ravi and others from India on H-2B visas, promising them permanent visas and residency. But, the promises were false. Instead, Ravi was forced to live with 23 other men in a small room with no privacy and two toilets. The camp was lined with barbed wire and security guards, so no one on the outside knew Ravi’s whereabouts. The company charged so much for food and a bunk bed that Ravi was unable to send any money home or repay the money he borrowed for his travel expenses to the United States. When the workers began organizing to protest their working conditions, the company began arbitrary firings and private deportations of the protest leaders. Those who remained filed a class action lawsuit and applied for TVPA immigration services.

A 6-year-old boy polishes shoes at a makeshift shop in Gauhati, India. Rights activists say the number of child workers in India is as high as 60 million, with one estimate saying that 20 percent of India’s economy is dependent on children under 14. Many of them work in labor-intensive jobs such as carpet-weaving or more dangerous industries like glass making.

MO V IN G T O WAR D A DE C A D E O F D E L I VERY

But if the system is waiting for a denunciation, and nobody comes forward, then there will be no prosecutions, and traffickers will operate with impunity.

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2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Intro  

The US Department of State issues its annual report on the trafficking of persons worldwide