Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) chaired a hearing by the National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services entitled “Ending Exploitation: How the Financial System Can Work to Dismantle the Business of Human Trafficking.”

Human trafficking is a terrible crime that destroys the lives of innocent victims, especially women and children, around the world.  The United States has a moral obligation to serve in a global leadership role in the fight against trafficking.

Proceeds from human trafficking are estimated to exceed more than $150 billion per year worldwide, and there are more than 25 million victims.  Human trafficking is closely intertwined with the narcotics trade, often using the same routes and networks. Like members of the illegal drug trade, human traffickers use money laundering, front businesses, funnel accounts, and alternative payment methods to avoid detection.

“We need to ensure our current system of detecting bad actors in the financial system is sufficiently tuned to the activities of human traffickers while at the same time increasing our understanding of the nontraditional means of finance to which traffickers are turning,” said Himes. “It’s also essential we listen to survivors of trafficking, who are frequently victims of identity theft and other financial crime, so we can better protect them from this injustice.”

Witnesses at today’s hearing included:

  • Ambassador Luis C.deBaca, Senior Fellow in Modern Slavery and Visiting Lecturer in Law, Yale University; Former U.S. Ambassador-At-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
  • Dr. Louise Shelley, Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Endowed Chair, George Mason University. Director, Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC)
  • Barry M. Koch, Founder and Owner, Barry M. Koch PLLC; Commissioner, Liechtenstein Initiative
  • Rev. Dr. Marian Hatcher, U.S. Representative, SPACE International
  • Laila Mickelwait, Founder, Traffickinghub movement; President, Justice Defense Fund

For more information, contact Patrick Malone at Patrick.malone@mail.house.gov.


Congressman Jim Himes represents Connecticut’s 4th District, which includes the communities of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Oxford, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Stamford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and Wilton.