Excepts of US Secretary of the Department of State, Mr Mike Pompeo at the launch of the 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report:
Every year, our report focuses on a specific thing. This year’s TIP Report highlights the critical work of local communities to stop traffickers and provide support to victims. Human trafficking is a global problem, but it’s a local one too. Human trafficking can be found in a favourite restaurant, a hotel, downtown, a farm, or in their neighbour’s home. As we have every year, the report also points out which countries are improving efforts – their efforts to tackle the crime and which countries are making it easier to carry it out. I’m glad to say we have several good news – progress to report.
In Estonia, the government implemented a new law that will help victims come forward and get the support that the victims need to recover. The Government of Argentina convicted officials complicit in trafficking crimes established additional legal protection for victims and bolstered efforts to train frontline responders. In Bahrain, the government worked to hold local traffickers criminally accountable and developed a mechanism to get victims needed shelter. The Government of Cyprus bolstered efforts to convict traffickers and improve protections for victims as well. We saw some positive movements across entire regions as well. Of the 48 African countries included in the report, 14 received upgrades – meaning we observed a strong trend of increased efforts to improve their overall response. Despite significant security threats, migration challenges, other financial constraints, and other obstacles, the region improved significantly.
We commend those countries taking action, but we also will never shy away from pointing out countries that need to step up. We read the horrific accounts of human trafficking and abuse of African migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers in Libya, resulting in modern-day slave markets. We’ve engaged the Libyan Government of National Accord to bring the perpetrators to justice, including complicit government officials. We welcome its commitment to doing so and look forward to seeing real action. In Southeast Asia, Burma’s armed forces and others in the Rakhine State dislocated hundreds of thousands of Rohingya and members of other ethnic groups, many of whom were exploited through the region as a result. Some in the Burmese military also recruited child soldiers and subjected adults and children from ethnic minority groups to forced labour. We see the tragic examples of forced labour in North Korea as well. An untold number of North Korean citizens are subjected to forced labour overseas by their government, in many cases with the tacit approval of host governments. And in Iran, trafficking victims are punished – the victims are punished – for acts they are forced to commit. For example, sex trafficking victims may face the death penalty for committing adultery. This is a horrible perversion of justice by a corrupt regime.
We take these stories to heart. We use them as fuel to motivate us to act as we work together to end human trafficking once and for all. You’ll see from today’s report that there remains a great deal of work left to do. The world should know that we will not stop until human trafficking is a thing of the past.
Read Detailed Report Here:
Read the Report’s PDF Version Here: