Yesterday,H.R. 2332, the Debt Bondage Repair Act, a bill introduced by Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), the Republican leader of the House Financial Services Committee passed the House of Representatives. The Debt Bondage Repair Act will help victims of human trafficking regain their livelihood and recover from the financial harm inflicted by traffickers.
Click here or on the image below to watch Congressman McHenry's remarks on the House floor in support of H.R. 2332.
The International Labour Organization estimates that human trafficking is a $150 billion global industry.
The United Nations reported that Debt Bondage “remains the most prevalent form of forced labor worldwide.”
Despite being banned in international law and most domestic jurisdictions, debt bondage remains one of the most prevalent forms of modern slavery in all regions of the world.
People in debt bondage end up working for no—or below the minimum—wage in order to repay the debts contracted or advances received, even though the value of the work they carry out exceeds the amount of their debts. Additionally, bonded laborers are often subjected to different forms of abuse, including long working hours, physical and psychological abuse, and violence.
Banks and credit card companies have sophisticated systems in place to preemptively identify human trafficking and debt bondage, but more can and should be done to alleviate the financial burden placed on victims by their traffickers.