Summary: S.553 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (02/03/2016)

End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015

(Sec. 2) This bill expresses the sense of Congress that:

  • the United States has a long history of domestic and international engagement in preventing and responding to modern slavery;
  • modern slavery involves extensive criminal activity and demands U.S. attention and commitment;
  • the United States must exert all efforts to eradicate modern-day slavery domestically;
  • there is a need for international public and private cooperation to increase resources for programs to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery by building the capacity of foreign governments to deter its perpetrators; and
  • countries that fall within the first and second tiers of the Department of State's annual Trafficking in Persons report could qualify as partner countries, and many countries on the Tier 2 watch list may also qualify and should be eligible for funding as partner countries.

(Sec. 3) The bill also declares U.S. policy to:

  • marshal resources to seek to end modern slavery through matching funds to a private grant-making institution that selects and supports innovative strategies,
  • allow such a private grant-making institution the flexibility to work in other committed countries, and
  • through U.S. foreign assistance programs help other countries with a high prevalence of modern slavery become eligible to be partner countries for additional assistance under the End Modern Slavery Initiative established by this Act.

(Sec. 4) The bill establishes the End Modern Slavery Initiative Foundation to work with government, civil society, and private institutions in partner countries and key jurisdictions of other countries supported by the Foundation with a high prevalence of modern slavery to identify and fund successful strategies to combat modern slavery.

(Sec. 5) The Department of State may make grants to the Foundation or to another nonprofit organization meeting certain criteria that seeks to receive foreign government contributions in a ratio of two-to-one and private sector contributions in a ratio of three-to-one to U.S. government funding.

The bill authorizes FY2015-FY2022 appropriations.

(Sec. 6) The U.S. government shall seek other foreign governments providing Foundation support to provide additional support, including diplomatic support, for projects in partner countries.

(Sec. 7) Foundation priorities shall be to:

  • select partner countries and key jurisdictions in other countries,
  • support programs and projects that seek to measurably reduce modern slavery in targeted populations within partner countries and key jurisdictions of other countries of at least 50% over a seven-year period,
  • prioritize programs and projects,
  • work with funded partner countries and entities to establish budgeted national plans that leverage partner country public and private funding and institutions, and
  • establish national coordinators and leadership councils in partner countries.

(Sec. 8) The bill prescribes program monitoring and evaluation requirements.

(Sec. 9) The Government Accountability Office shall report to Congress on all of the programs conducted by the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Labor, the Department of Defense, and the Department of the Treasury that address human trafficking and modern slavery.