Last month, the US Department of State released the 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP). This is the ninth annual report that the State Department has issued. The report, mandated by Congress, gives a snapshot of human trafficking worldwide along with the efforts of individual nations to combat it. This year’s report says that the global financial crisis has increased the worldwide trade in trafficked persons, especially in Africa. The report cites the International Labor Organization, which estimates at least 12.3 million adults and children are victims of forced labor, bonded labor and sex slavery each year.
Since its inception in 2000, the U.S. Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons report has passed judgment on foreign governments regarding their efforts to combat human trafficking. But next year for the first time, promises Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, the U.S. will grade itself using the same standards.
“The ninth annual Trafficking in Persons Report sheds light on the faces of modern-day slavery and on new facets of this global problem. The human trafficking phenomenon affects virtually every country, including the United States. In acknowledging America’s own struggle with modern-day slavery and slavery-related practices, we offer partnership. We call on every government to join us in working to build consensus and leverage resources to eliminate all forms of human trafficking.”