Foreign Policy Blogs

Being Thankful & Fighting Human Trafficking

Efforts to combat trafficking are diverse and growing. Businesses, NGOs, academics, politicians, governments and individuals all have a role to play.

So, instead of spending Thanksgiving weekend watching the Macy’s Parade, eating turkey and shopping (my usual Thanksgiving activities), I was in Amsterdam and London for meetings on fighting human trafficking. Human trafficking, or modern day slavery, is an enormous global criminal and human rights problem. It’s worth setting out the basics. “Human trafficking” is an umbrella term for the issues of forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage among migrant laborers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, and child sex trafficking. Human trafficking can happen anywhere, including the US. Estimates of how many people are trafficked each year vary from 2.4 million to 25 million, and it’s a business worth more than $50 billion a year. For more, see:



Stephenie Foster
Stephenie Foster

With over 25 years of experience in domestic and international policy Stephenie’s consulting practice advises clients on issues ranging from public/private partnerships, global networking, political strategy and lobbying. Her international work has taken her to more than 20 countries. Previously she served as Chief of Staff to two United States Senators (Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT)), held senior positions at Legacy and Planned Parenthood and was appointed by President Clinton as General Counsel for the U.S. General Services Administration. Stephenie was a former law partner in California and is currently a Professorial Lecturer at American University, where she teaches classes on Women & the UN and Women World Leaders. She is an author and blogger and you can follow her work at