Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trafficking Still Costly in 2011

This is what investigative journalism looks like:

Yesterday, the U.S. State Department released the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report. The document rates 184 countries and their reaction to the modern day slave trade.

This year 23 countries exist on Tier 3 (the lowest ranking) because their "governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so."

Business is booming for traffickers and many nations have given up, nearly doubling the amount unable to meet U.S. standards. Last year only placed 13 on the bottom rung.

148 countries have signed the Palermo Protocol, the United Nations international agreement to combat trafficking.

2010 made history when the United States finally included itself in the TIP report. After a decade of denial and judging others on an official scale, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally admitted the sale of American citizens occurs within our own borders. Since then the United States has ranked itself as a Tier 1 country, complying with the minimum standards to fight this unthinkable exploitation.

"Trafficking isn’t just a problem of human bondage; it fuels the epidemic of gender-based violence in so many places – here in our country and around the world," said Clinton, recognizing this tragic reality affects women and girls disproportionately.

She estimated some 27 million people are currently involved in human trafficking with roughly 100,000 of them living in the United States.

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