Combating Human Trafficking: The Long Arm Of The FAR Human trafficking—often referred to as a modern-day form of slavery—has for years been among the U.S. Government’s “high-priority” enforcement areas. See, e.g., the Department of Justice Web site at www.usdoj.gov/whatwedo/whatwedo_ctip.html The effort is, without a doubt, an important one:
• As many as 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders each year, and approximately 17,500 victims are brought into the U.S. each year, according to DOJ. Report on Activities to Combat Human Trafficking, Fiscal Years 2001–2005, Department of Justice, February 2006, at 9.
• According to the International Labour Organization, there are 12.3 million people, including children, in forced labor, bonded labor and sexual servitude at any given time. Trafficking in Persons Report, Department of State, June 2007, at 8.
• The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that human trafficking generates $9.5 billion in revenue annually. Trafficking in Persons Report, Department of State, June 2006, at 13.
• Some project that human trafficking soon will surpass drug trafficking and weapons dealing as the world’s largest illegal industry. Jennifer Nam, The Case of the Missing Case: Examining the Civil Right of Action for Human Trafficking Victims, 107 Colum. L. Rev. 1655, 1660 (2007).
Despite these staggering numbers, the number of prosecutions globally has decreased each year from 7,992 prosecutions in 2003 to 5,808 prosecutions in 2006. Trafficking in Persons Report, Department of State, June 2007, at 36. On Aug. 17, 2007, the U.S. Government issued a revised interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation to implement the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003, as amended by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. The revised interim rule prohibits contractors, subcontractors and their employees from engaging in conduct that violates criminal human trafficking statutes and from procuring commercial sex acts, even if such activity is legal, as it is in Nevada. The revised interim rule also requires contractors and subcontractors to notify their employees of the prohibited activities and the disciplinary
actions that may be taken against them for violations. The consequences for contractor or subcontractor noncompliance are potentially draconian—termination of the contract for default or cause, suspension, and debarment.