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Release of 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report

Ambassador Nancy Ely-Raphel
Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Remarks at Special Briefing
Washington, DC
June 5, 2002

Special Briefing Colin L. Powell  Ambassador Nancy Ely-Raphel
Trafficking in Persons Report

Thank you, Secretary Powell, for your inspiring introduction of this second annual Trafficking in Persons Report.

I am proud to say that this is the largest annual report of its kind created by any single government worldwide. To compile this document, which reports on 89 countries, information was gathered from 186 US embassies and consulates, among other sources, including NGOs and media reports.

The Report is many things. It's a sober reminder of the reality of this modern-day form of slavery. It is a tool for our engagement with other countries, a starting point for dialogue. It's a platform for advocates. It's a coordination opportunity for regional, anti-trafficking efforts among governments. Hopefully, and most importantly, it's a freedom-promoting mechanism for individual victims of enslavement everywhere.

Ultimately, the Report should be employed as a practical tool for producing anti-trafficking strategies globally. And I invite NGOs, think tanks, Congress, and other experts to embrace this opportunity.

Trafficking in persons is a leading international crime and human rights abuse. As the Secretary noted, the global magnitude is staggering. Annual estimates range from 700,000 to 4 million people bought, sold, transported and held in slavery-like conditions for sex and labor exploitation. The nature of this crime -- underground, often under-acknowledged -- contributes to the inability to pin down the number of people who are victimized by traffickers each year. The scope of this hideous exploitation is wide and varied, but typically involves victims entrapped into commercial, sexual exploitation such as prostitution and pornography, and labor exploitation such as sweatshops, construction sites and agriculture. Additional forms of forced labor and abuse include domestic servitude, forced marriages, and camel jockeys, to name just a few.

The Report is produced by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, which was established at the Department of State last October, pursuant to comprehensive legislation adopted by the Congress. In addition to reporting duties, the Office assists in the coordination of the US Government's anti-trafficking efforts, both domestically and abroad, guided by the vision of eradicating trafficking worldwide.

The Report is produced by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, which was established at the Department of State last October, pursuant to comprehensive legislation adopted by the Congress. In addition to reporting duties, the Office assists in the coordination of the US Government's anti-trafficking efforts, both domestically and abroad, guided by the vision of eradicating trafficking worldwide.

The Report includes a three-tiered country list, which evaluates governmental efforts to combat trafficking on the basis of minimum standards described in the law, followed by individual country narratives. This year, 89 countries are listed as follows: 18 countries in Tier 1, 52 countries on Tier 2, and 19 countries in Tier 3. The last, or third, tier identifies countries that neither fully comply with the minimum standards, nor are making significant efforts to do so.

Since the Report last year, many countries improved their anti-trafficking efforts, 14 of them so much that they are placed in a more favorable tier from last year. Furthermore, because of changed circumstances or new information, two countries that were on the 2001 Report are not included on this year's Report.

The Report is working. Already we are seeing success stories, as mentioned by the Secretary. The Republic of Korea, as well as Romania and Israel, have aggressively pursued anti-trafficking initiatives since the first report was issued last year, extensively coordinating with us on practical measures and policy strategies.

Acknowledging the huge task before us, this is a good beginning for concerted anti-trafficking efforts internationally. In closing, the degrading, insidious practice of slavery is found worldwide. It is found in rich countries and in poor countries, in sending countries and destination countries. It is found in democracies such as the United States, into which at least 50,000 people are trafficked annually. It is found in conflict-ridden countries and among displaced, vulnerable populations.

As we enter the 21st century, trafficking must be challenged worldwide. Trafficking must end. This Report is intended to empower everyone fighting to stop slavery in the 21st century.

Revista INTER-FORUM is affiliated with (ICCAP)

Any reproduction in part or whole is strictly forbidden without the authors written authorization  

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June 10, 2002

 

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