Secretary Clinton Announces Release of 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
June 14, 2010

Fact Sheet:Trafficking in Persons -- Ten Years of Partnering to Combat Modern Slavery

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the release of the 10th annual Trafficking in Persons Report on Monday, June 14, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State. Secretary Clinton said:

"This report provides in-depth assessments and recommendations for 177 countries, some of whom are making great progress toward abolishing the illicit trade in human beings. Others are still doing too little to stem the tide. But behind these statistics on the pages are the struggles of real human beings, the tears of families who may never see their children again, the despair and indignity of those suffering under the worst forms of exploitation. And through this report we bear witness to their experience and commit ourselves to abolishing this horrible crime.

"Human trafficking crosses cultures and continents. I've met survivors of trafficking and their families, along with brave men and women in both the public and the private sector who have stood up against this terrible crime. All of us have a responsibility to bring this practice to an end. Survivors must be supported and their families aided and comforted, but we cannot turn our responsibility for doing that over to nongovernmental organizations or the faith community. Traffickers must be brought to justice. And we can't just blame international organized crime and rely on law enforcement to pursue them. It is everyone's responsibility. Businesses that knowingly profit or exhibit reckless disregard about their supply chains, governments that turn a blind eye or do not devote serious resources to addressing the problem, all of us have to speak out and act forcefully.

"Now, we talk often here in the State Department about shared responsibility. Indeed, it is a core principle of our foreign policy. So we have to ensure that our policies live up to our ideals. And that is why we have for the first time included the United States. As this report documents, cases of trafficking persons are found in our own communities. In some cases, foreign workers drawn by the hope of a better life in America are trapped by abusive employers. And there are Americans, unfortunately, who are held in sexual slavery. Some find themselves trapped through debt to work against their will in conditions of modern-day bondage. And this report sends a clear message to all of our countrymen and women: human trafficking is not someone else's problem. Involuntary servitude is not something we can ignore or hope doesn't exist in our own community.

"I'm very proud of the bipartisan commitment and leadership that the United States has shown on this issue over many years. For the Obama Administration, combating this crime is a top priority. And the United States funds 140 anti-trafficking programs in nearly 70 countries, as well as supporting 38 domestic task forces that bring state and local authorities together with NGOs like many represented in this room.

"It's been 10 years since the United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol was negotiated and the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act was enacted, and I was very proud to have worked on both of those in a prior life sometime back. And under the paradigm of the three Ps -- prevention, protection, and prosecution -- and thanks in part to the facts and focus provided by this annual report, governments, law enforcement agencies, international organizations, and families are working more closely together than ever. Now we call for the fourth P -- partnership. And that is making a real difference. More countries are updating their laws and expanding enforcement, more criminals are facing prosecution, and more survivors are being helped back into a life of freedom.

"This report is a catalogue of tragedies that the world cannot continue to accept. But it is also a record that deserves praise and recognition because it exemplifies hope and action because hope without action cannot be our goal. We have to provide the hope that then leads to the action that changes the reality that we describe."

Read the Secretary's full remarks here.

Comments

Comments

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
June 14, 2010

Patrick in Maryland writes:

I liked the comments made by Hillary and Laura Germino. I thought they both had good views, on the situation of Trafficking in Persons. Hopefully most countries are trying too improve on the wellbeing of their Citizen, so this kind of thing can be ended.

Great to see these Women getting an Award, for their achievements, towards solving the problem of Human Trafficking...:)

Nice Work ...Cya...:)

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
June 14, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

It is no wonder that there is "trafficking in persons" when government and industry refers to human beings as "human capital."

I guess we're only "persons" when they don't stand to make any money off of us.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 14, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

How's "human adventure capital" grab you Flavius?

Braindead lexicons need changing too, just like light bulbs and ethical infants made infamous in the human rights report.

What would you replace it with?

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
June 15, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

Well, Eric, before we were capital we were a "resource" and before that we were "persons," as in "personnel."

I'd like to just be a person again, and not just in circumstances where someone is taking advantage of me illegally and referring to me as a person scores political points.

I know most people's eyes glaze over when I start on this subject, but people forget that humans think in words and that if one controls words, one controls thought. See Mr. Orwell, or, for a more humourous take, Mr. Carlin.

Actually, one just has to look at Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union or North Korea or Iran to see the principle in action.

I believe the term "human capital" was created by economic conservatives and management professionals who desired to remove "labor" from the economic equation. Economic activity (or business, if you will) used to be described as the the interaction of management, labor, capital and government. If one describes labor as just another form of capital, the entire concept of labor (and unions) vanishes.

To be described as "capital" is ultimately dehumanizing, which is the point, I believe. People are harder to discard than machines, aren't they?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 15, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Flavius,

I completely understand the premis of your reasoning, and as one who has tried to do his bit to change the nature of the conversation on a number of levels, your attempts here are intriging and worthy of consideration.

But how do you define the investment in human potential?

Or how one would define human worth for that matter?

I don't know that "adventure capital" covers it in every nuanced aspect.

And I agree "human capital" has a lot of baggage associated with the term.

Certainly human traffickers think of their victims in terms of net worth and calculate the return on their imoral investment in the slave trade.

And one could say in good economic times and bad, that we are all slaves to the "legal tender" and the whims of economies.

Not to mention the occasional gross human negligence that occurs, as well as natural disasters.

So it may be that "human capital" is synonomous with "economic slavery".

Whether by intent or not.

I suppose one can take heart in the fact that if a citizen can get Dept of State spokesmen to stop using the phrase "the ball is in Iran's court." (or North Korea's), then we may indeed anticipate miracles where "human capital" is concerned.

I'd say it will be a lot more effective to "Smart Power" if we start by defining how we think of human potential as a resource to invest in, properly.

Without the confusion of unsusatainable terminology.

Again I say; "Dilbert would be proud of you.", for you have become the "evil HR person"'s worst nightmare.

You are redefining the nature of her job.

So again, what would you replace it with?

Go back to the old lexicon of "human resources"?

I'm not sure that that will leave us any better off over the long term.

But that seems to be the task you've set out for yourself here, by instigating this discussion to redefine the notion.

So I thought it best to encorage you to come up with something better.

To leave an indelible mark on society you can feel proud to tell your grandkids about someday...if that's enough motivation.

Same reason folks are often motivated to become Foreign Service Officers.

It's not like they are getting rich in a material way.

But folks are definately on a "human adventure".

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
June 15, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

@Eric:

I'm sorry but I haven't the time to respond in full to your many, many questions.

I would call human resources departments personnel departments, just as they once were.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 16, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Flavius,

I thought this was your crusade. There was a reason I was self-employed up to the point were and tear set in, then worked for folks and now after 30 years in construction, this last year and a half feels a lot like forced retirement, so it really isn't my problem what folks call it. Your not exactly doing this for me, bro...No HR droid ever stopped me from pushing a paintbrush anyway. But apparently the banksters did.

Perhaps we should do a comparitive analysis on the slime coeficiant between human traffickers and these guys. If there's a form of economic dis-opportunism encased in bodily form, they are creatures from the same womb.

.

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