Senate Bill H.R. 40 and US Moral Authority in Anti-Human Trafficking

Vernon Murray & Sherry Dingman | September 22 | 11:30 AM-12:30 PM | Room 2591

In its annual TIP Reports, the US Department of State evaluates nations for their anti-human trafficking efforts. Based on those scores, it holds traffickers and facilitating governments in disdain, from a moral high ground. Presumably, that ground was won by the abolition of American slavery. However, while American slavery ended over a century ago, in recent times the US has consistently voted down Senate Bill H.R. 40, which calls for the mere investigation of reparations for the descendants of African slaves. Similarly, the US has not moved on the UN’s 2016 request that it pay reparations for slavery based on the UN’s 2006 guidelines. Avoidance to pay the estimated 24 trillion-dollar African slavery reparations debt may erode global perceptions of America’s anti-trafficking moral high ground. For instance, a potential trafficker may reason that, since the US has maintained global respectability and its trafficking-related profits, so can he. And, as the government of a poorer nation may reason the same way, each may ignore otherwise effective anti-trafficking social marketing appeals. The presenters’ view is that if the US wishes to encourage anti-trafficking attitudes, then it should pass Senate Bill H.R. 40.

Presentation Objectives:

·       Describe the main components of H.R. 40

·       Describe four human trafficking reparations episodes across ethnic groups

·       Discuss the pros and cons of passing H.R. 40

·       Discuss the driving factors of “moral high ground” when making moral appeals

About the Presenters