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house Bill H.R. 400

Checking Foreign Contractors For Ties to Human Trafficking

Argument in favor

The State Department and USAID should be taking internal measures to ensure that tax dollars spent on overseas contractors don’t support human trafficking. Delivering a report to Congress will simply bring transparency to that process.

BarackObama's Opinion
"Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it." []
Like (48)
Steven's Opinion
Human trafficking is a fact if life, unfortunately. Anything we can do to reduce or contribution to it is a good thing.
Like (2)
Erin's Opinion
Anything to slow human trafficking will inhibit "terrorist" activity because this is a primary source of funding. Plus, we need to care about women more.
Like (2)

Argument opposed

These agencies can be relied upon to have adequate safeguards that prevent tax dollars from being spent on contractors involved with human trafficking. There’s no need for Congress to require the State Department and USAID to deliver a report.

operaman's Opinion
What! We're not already checking for human trafficking? Typical government.
Like (7)
SherryTX's Opinion
They don't care about trafficking - all they care about is the almighty dollar. We don't need congressional oversight, we need to hire people in those departments with morality.
Like (3)
Aden's Opinion
Enough with reports...How about you people in DC do something about terrorism and illegal immigration?
Like (1)

What is House Bill H.R. 400?

This bill would direct the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to give Congress a report aimed at preventing human trafficking by foreign contractors the State Department and USAID work with overseas.

A definition of “placement and recruitment fees” for purposes of complying with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and how that definition will be incorporated into grants, contracts, cooperative agreements would be included in the report.

The State Department and USAID would also provide a description of actions taken to ensure that officials include the prevention of human trafficking as a priority when monitoring grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and contracting practices in general.


Congress, USAID, and the State Department.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 400

$500.00 Thousand
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost less than $500,000 over the 2016-2020 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced this legislation to ensure that tax dollars spent on overseas contractors don’t ultimately end up supporting human trafficking:

“While we recognize January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month it is important we also recognize that around the world, and even here in the U.S., there are more than 20 million human trafficking victims. An ambiguity in current law means that foreign workers hired by our foreign affairs agencies are still vulnerable to debt bondage and other forms of trafficking.”

This bill was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee by a voice vote, and it has the support of 28 cosponsors in the House, including 15 Democrats and 13 Republicans.


Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user christian_parreira)


Trafficking Prevention in Foreign Affairs Contracting Act

Official Title

To require the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to submit reports on definitions of placement and recruitment fees for purposes of enabling compliance with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
  • The house Passed February 1st, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedJanuary 16th, 2015

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