2011 Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is Released
The United States Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons released its 2011 annual report on June 27, 2011. The report includes stories of individual victims, profiles of countries, estimates of victims, and evaluations of the efforts of governments to combat human trafficking. It also outlines the major forms of Human Trafficking, including the following: forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage among migrant laborers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, and child sex trafficking.
At the release of the report, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated: "Every year, we come together to release this report, to take stock of our progress, to make suggestions, and to refine our methods. . . This report is the product of a collaborative process that involves ambassadors and embassies and NGOs as well as our team here in Washington. And it really does give us a snapshot about what's happening. It shows us where political will and political leadership are making a difference."
The U.S. Special Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking, Luis CdeBaca, said: "In the past decade, the community of nations has moved away from reflexive denial that this crime still exists and has adopted instead a wide range of policies and partnerships. This shift has been driven in no small part by the impact of the annual TIP Reports, the rapid acceptance of the United Nations' Palermo Protocol, and the insistence of civil society that this crime not be ignored."
Notably, in its own efforts to combat trafficking in persons, The US Gov't TIP office distributed nearly 69 million dollars worldwide in grant monies specifically for efforts to combat human trafficking.
According to the report, the data and information in the report is collected "from U.S. embassies, government officials, nongovernmental and international organizations, published reports, research trips to every region, and information submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org."
Based on the information available, the U.S. State Department places each country into one of three "tiers" (i.e. categories):
- Tier 1 is the highest ranking, but it does not imply that a country is free of human trafficking, rather that a government recognizes the problem and has made substantial efforts to address it and that its policies fully comply with the minimum standards outlined by U.S. law.
- Tier 2 is given to countries whose governments have not fully complied with the minimum standards but nonetheless are making considerable efforts to become compliant.
- Tier 2 Watch List is assigned to countries where the government does not fully comply nor is the government making clear efforts to become compliant and either the number of victims of severe human trafficking is significant, there is evidence of decreasing evidence of complicity, or a previously tier-3 country has made commitments which will be evaluated over the next year.
- Tier 3 is the lowest ranking and given to countries who neither fully comply with the minimum standards nor are they making any efforts to do so.
Beyond the ranking of countries according to their efforts to comply, the report also highlights how individuals can take personal action to help in the fight to end human trafficking, including the use of new social media platforms to organize grassroots efforts.
There is also a section highlighting the latest data on global law enforcement and an extensive list of organizations, governmental bodies and international organizations active in the fight against human trafficking.
This year's report is dedicated to "those who deserve a real life, not an anonymous death - in honor of this child's mute testimony from the grave - we must once and for all prevent the shadow of slavery from finding new victims."