A new report by Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Senior Fellow Jamille Bigio and Senior Fellow and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy (WFP) program Rachel B. Vogelstein examines the links between human trafficking and U.S. national security. Human trafficking is not only a gross violation of human rights that affects populations across regional, ethnic, and religious lines, but also a criminal and security concern.
Human trafficking can fuel conflict by enabling armed and extremist groups to raise income and expand their power and military capabilities, and it can drive displacement and destabilize communities, undermining development.
Despite these security implications, convictions for trafficking offenses are rare, programs focused on prevention and protection are under-resourced, and most efforts to address human trafficking are detached from broader conflict-prevention, security, and counter-terrorism initiatives. The report provides recommendations to better prevent human trafficking and advance U.S. security interests.