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Ivanka Trump’s White House summit: Some anti-human-trafficking groups boycott event to protest administration’s policies
The White House summit on human trafficking organized by Ivanka Trump will be held on Friday, January 31. President Trump is expected to be present considering that trafficking is an issue he considers a top priority.
However, some of the nation’s most prominent anti-trafficking organizations and advocates won’t be there, according to The Washington Post. Notable absentees would include the leader of Freedom Network USA, which is the largest anti-trafficking coalition in the country, as well as the non-profit organization Polaris.
These groups plan to boycott the summit for what they describe as the Trump administration’s “act of public deception. While the POTUS frequently say that human trafficking is a priority, the groups claim that the administration is actively endangering immigrants who constitute a large portion of human trafficking victims.
“We have such a chasm between rhetoric and reality,” Human Trafficking Legal Center founder Martina Vandenberg said. “This administration is undermining protections carefully built for trafficking victims over two decades.”
The report said that at least eight anti-human trafficking groups have declined the invitation to the summit to voice their opposition over the Trump administration’s policies. The organizations are concerned over the increased scrutiny of T visas.
Aside from President Donald Trump, Vice President Pence, and Attorney General William P. Barr are expected to attend the summit. The event will also commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which was passed into law in 2000.
“I am honored to stand with the president as we convene federal, state, local and tribal leaders, alongside survivors, employers, and advocates to ensure that we see the end of the crisis of human trafficking once and for all,” Ivanka Trump, who is the face of the event, said in a statement.
Ivanka Trump has been the administration’s face for anti-human trafficking efforts. Last month, she visited a few organizations in Atlanta to assure them of the administration’s commitment to the cause.
“We believe that the private sector needs to get involved with these issues and they need to provide the training for the jobs,” Ivanka Trump said during her Atlanta visit. “And we can assist in the support.”
Other anti-trafficking groups such as Selah Freedom, House of Cherith, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Shared Hope International say that the summit is too important to the cause to be missed just because of partisan politics.
“Dealing with an issue such as trafficking should always rise above partisan politics and tap into the best of all people as we work together to end this tragic reality,” House of Cherith founder Bruce Deel said.