Actress Mira Sorvino said the U.S. spends more money on military bands than it does to combat human trafficking.
The UN Goodwill ambassador made the remarks Thursday night at a forum on the issue held at George Washington University.
During the discussion, Sorvino asked Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, how much the government spends on trafficking in comparison to the war on drugs.
The entire amount equals just about three weeks of spending on the war on drugs, he estimated.
“Every month we spend twice the TIP [Trafficking in Persons] budget on military marching bands,” Sorvino added.
Despite these statistics, both Sorvino and CdeBaca were complimentary of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attention to the issue.
Clinton will release a report on human trafficking on Monday at the State Department. Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero and CdeBaca will also deliver remarks.
CdeBaca stressed the importance of an annual report Thursday evening, describing it as “that snapshot that governments have to respond to.”
Thursday’s panel, hosted by the CNN Freedom Project and ATEST (Alliance To End Slavery and Trafficking), included Rani Hong, advocate and trafficking survivor; Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.); Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves; and Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International.
The audience saw a sneak preview of a CNN International documentary, “Nepal’s Stolen Children,” starring actress Demi Moore, another celebrity advocate against human trafficking.
“Real men don’t buy girls,” Moore explained to trafficking survivors in Nepal during the film. The documentary will premiere on CNN this Sunday at 8 pm EST.