Earlier this month, the State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which assesses more than 170 countries on what efforts their governments are taking to stop human trafficking.
The release of the report was reported on the Foreign Policy blog Madam Secretary and specifically recommended reading Siddharth Kara’s recent book Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery to understand issues relating to human trafficking for sex.
The report itself is available on the State Department Web site and includes many fascinating and sobering sections, including the Financial Crisis and Human Trafficking, Victim’s Stories, reports on individual countries, U.S. Government Domestic Anti-Trafficking Efforts, and Stopping Human Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation, and Abuse by International Peacekeepers.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Hillary Clinton summarized some of the findings in the report, discussed some of the gains that have made, and spoke to the continuing challenges. In addressing the impact of the financial crisis, Clinton wrote:
The problem is particularly urgent now, as local economies around the world reel from the global financial crisis. People are increasingly desperate for the chance to support their families, making them more susceptible to the tricks of ruthless criminals. Economic pressure means more incentive for unscrupulous bosses to squeeze everything they can from vulnerable workers and fewer resources for the organizations and governments trying to stop them.
The State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report, released this week, documents the scope of this challenge in every country. The report underscores the need to address the root causes of human trafficking — including poverty, lax law enforcement and the exploitation of women — and their devastating effects on its victims and their families.