Leaders Gather To Combat Human Trafficking

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 5, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chaired the annual meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) at the White House on January 5, 2016.

In remarks at the meeting, Secretary Kerry underscored the importance of addressing human trafficking and its complexities. He said, “Preventing human trafficking, unlike some of the issues we wrestle with which are defined by nuance or by some complexity, this is not. This is not complex and there’s no nuance. This is absolutely an issue of extreme moral clarity. And it is about also our collective security, and the interaction between this multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise, which is what it is, not only is a corrupting factor in the capacity of countries to live up to the standards that we want them to and to meet many needs across the board.”

He continued, “Whether it’s immigration or simply criminal activity or radicalization, there are many different impacts of human trafficking. But most broadly, it is a factor in destabilizing whole governments, it feeds the corruption that is stealing the future of many nations, and it fuels all of the illicit criminal networks that play out in many different ways – not just in human trafficking, but in terms of the narcotics trafficking, gun smuggling, and terror support particularly… it actually exacerbates.”

The annual cabinet-level meeting was the third meeting of the PITF during Secretary Kerry’s tenure as Chair and the sixth of the Obama Administration. It serves as an opportunity to coordinate government-wide efforts and discuss new initiatives in the struggle to end modern slavery.

During the meeting, the White House introduced the recently appointed members of the newly established U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, which provides trafficking survivors a formal voice in federal anti-trafficking policy. This new advisory council underscores our commitment to work across the board with faith leaders, the private sector, and government agencies to increase our capacity to diminish the impact of human trafficking.

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