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.