US to launch competition for projects to end modern slavery

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says Washington will launch a competition in the coming weeks to find projects that will reduce modern slavery, which by one estimate affects nearly 46 million people around the world.

Nikki Halley announced at a U.N. Security Council meeting Wednesday that the initiative will seek to raise $1.5 billion, partly from the U.S. government but mostly from foreign governments and the private sector. It will go to help countries break trafficking rings and support survivors.

Haley says groups that receive funding "must target a 50 percent reduction" among those they seek to help escape slavery.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says armed conflicts "are especially virulent breeding grounds" for human trafficking, resulting in forced prostitution, sexual slavery, trade in human organs and forced labor.