US State Department releases 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report
The United States Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons released yesterday its 2012 annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The report includes stories of trafficking victims, country portraits, estimates on numbers of victims, and evaluations of government efforts to combat human trafficking. It also outlines the major forms of human trafficking, including for sexual exploitation, forced or bonded labor, involuntary domestic servitude, among others.
"…Victims of modern slavery are women and men, girls and boys," said US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton at the release of the report. "And their stories remind us of what kind of inhumane treatment we are still capable of as human beings. Some, yes, are lured to another country with false promises of a good job or opportunities for their families. Others can be exploited right where they grew up, where they now live. Whatever their background, they are living, breathing reminders that the work to eradicate slavery remains unfinished. The fact of slavery may have changed, but our commitment to ending it has not and the deeply unjust treatment that it provides has not either."
In the report countries around the world are categorized into tiers:
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.
Secretary of State Clinton noted the commitment of individuals in the fight to end trafficking: "When I met with the people who were working with victims in Kolkata, I met several young women from the United States who had been inspired by reading about and watching and going online and learning about what was happening in the efforts to rescue and protect victims. And they were there in Kolkata, working with organizations, NGOs, and the faith community, to do their part. So this is a moment for people to ask themselves not just what government can do to end modern slavery, but what can I do, what can we do together."
Watch the launch event in its entirety here:
To read the report, click on the following links:
-Country Narratives: A-C
-Country Narratives: D-I
-Country Narratives: J-M
-Country Narratives: N-S
-Country Narratives: T-Z and Special Case
-Relevant International Conventions/Closing Material