The 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report
Today the United States released its 12th annual Trafficking in Person’s (TIP) report. This comprehensive report highlights the world’s progress on Human Trafficking and how the United States has engaged with countries worldwide to combat and increase awareness of human trafficking. The TIP is put together by the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, an office that was created in 2001 as a result of congress passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA). This bill was unanimously reauthorized by congress in 2003, 2005 and 2008. With each reauthorization improvements were added to continue to fight the ever-evolving industry of human trafficking; staying up to date on these changes is the primary purpose behind reauthorizing the TVPA every few years. Unfortunately, in 2011 the TVPA expired.
The 2012 TIP Report is an excellent example of the influence the United States has in the global fight against modern day slavery. Within the report, 184 countries are ranked, including the United States. The updated 2012 rankings show many countries are doing better in combating slavery as a direct result of US pressure generated by the annual report’s rankings and assistance provided by the United States under the TVPRA. Countries like Bangladesh and the Dominican Republic who were recently some of the lowest ranked countries have shown improvement in implementing their new laws in the areas of human trafficking prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership.
“While many countries, including the United States, still have a long way to go, the increased attention and pressure to bring modern day slavery to light helps all of us on the front lines,” said Jesse Eaves, World Vision’s Senior Policy Advisor for Child Protection in the United States.
The updated rankings show many countries are doing better in combating slavery as a direct result of U.S. pressure and assistance. Overall 29 countries have been upgraded in terms of their response. Countries like Bangladesh and the Dominican Republic who were recently some of the lowest ranked countries have shown improvement in implementing their new laws in the areas of prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership.
However, this updated picture of modern day slavery highlights the complete failure of Congress to reauthorize the very law that makes this report possible: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
World Vision calls on both Houses of Congress and the Administration to put aside their political games and work together to pass the Senate version of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (S.1301). Since Congress allowed the bill to expire in September 2011, every day that passes without Congress reauthorizing the law weakens U.S. influence in the fight against modern day slavery and lessens the impact of the TIP Report.
“Congress’ inaction gives no hope for the 20 million slaves around the world and makes millions of men, women, and especially children around the world even more vulnerable to exploitation,” said Eaves. “This issue has always brought together all sides to work together to fight slavery. The release of the 2012 TIP Report should be a reminder that the United States can continue to be a global leader in that fight.”
Women of Vision has been an incredible voice for the TVPRA, urging Congress to work together and put aside differences to focus on a greater issue. As you continue to call your Senators keep in mind the value of what may be lost with this bill, the TIP report and the leverage of US power in the fight against trafficking, and also keep in mind what can be gained, the life of a child freed from slavery.