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Homeland Security

Washington File

11 June 2003

State Department Releases Trafficking in Persons Report

(More than 100 nations take actions against human trafficking) (740)
The U.S. Department of State released the annual Trafficking in
Persons report June 11, concluding that more than 100 nations surveyed
are taking significant actions to combat human trafficking. The report
also finds that 13 nations are not responding aggressively to
organized criminal activity involving trafficking in persons. Under a
2000 U.S. counter-trafficking law, those nations not targeting this
form of modern day slavery may be subject to sanctions.
Following is the text of a State Department fact sheet:
(begin fact sheet)
Office of the Spokesman
June 11, 2003
Trafficking in Persons Report
Another Step Toward International Cooperation Against Modern Day
"It is incomprehensible that trafficking in human beings is taking
place in the 21st Century - incomprehensible but true."
"Trafficking leaves no land untouched, including our own."
Colin Powell
The third annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report), issued by
the State Department, is the most comprehensive report on the efforts
of governments worldwide to combat severe forms of trafficking in
persons or "modern-day slavery". The report is mandated by Congress
under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act [(Division A of Public
Law 106-386, or "the Act"), enacted in October 2000].
The report reflects whether a country is determined to be "a country
of origin, transit, or destination for a significant number of victims
of severe forms of trafficking." Countries determined to have a
significant number of victims are placed on the Report in one of three
tiers, based on a government's efforts to combat trafficking.
Governments that fully comply with the Act's minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking are placed on Tier 1. Those making
significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance are placed on
Tier 2. Finally, countries whose governments are not making
significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance are placed on
Tier 3.
--Over 100 countries on the Report fully comply with the Act's minimum
standards, or are making significant efforts to do so.
--This year, for the first time, governments of countries listed on
Tier 3 face potential sanctions including termination of
non-humanitarian non-trade- related assistance. These sanctions become
effective on October 1, 2003 and are subject to possible waiver.
--The 2003 TIP Report is also notable for including thirty countries
not on last year's report. This reflects more and better information
on the scope and magnitude of trafficking, and greater engagement with
other countries.
--The country narratives have also been expanded in many cases to
include additional data on anti-TIP measures, including law
enforcement statistics.
--This Report conveys the human dimension of the trafficking tragedy
through victims' stories, photographs, and information on governmental
"best practices".
A number of innovative anti-trafficking efforts came to light during
the preparation of the TIP Report and through the Trafficking Office's
engagement with foreign governments and international and
non-governmental organizations throughout the year. Many of these
efforts are particularly noteworthy because they demonstrate low- or
no-cost anti-trafficking measures that are sustainable.
These efforts are laudable and the U.S.G. continues to expand
programmatic assistance to NGOs, international organizations, and
committed governments working to aggressively combat trafficking in
persons. In the last two years, the U.S. government has invested over
$100 million in programs to address prevention, protection and
assistance to victims, and prosecution of traffickers for 92 countries
around the world.
Women, children and men are trafficked into the international sex
trade and into forced labor situations throughout the world. Many are
lured by promises of good jobs, unaware that their travel documents
will be seized, they will be held in debt bondage, or that they will
be subject to brutal beatings. Traffickers also kidnap and abduct
Traffickers, who may be freelancers or members of organized criminal
networks, use threats, intimidation and violence to force victims to
engage in sex acts or to labor under conditions comparable to slavery
for the traffickers' financial gain.
No country is immune from trafficking. A recent U.S. Government
estimate indicates that approximately 800,000-900,000 people are
trafficked across international borders worldwide annually, and
between 18,000 and 20,000 of those victims are trafficked into the
United States. The Department of Justice recently compiled an
assessment of USG anti-trafficking efforts, which will be released
this summer.
(end fact sheet)
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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