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Secretary of State, Mr. Michael R. Pompeo unveiled the 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, 28 June, 2018, at the U.S. Department of State and was joined by Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump. 

As required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the TIP Report assesses government efforts around the world to combat human trafficking and highlights strategies to address this crime and protect the victims. This year’s report, the 18th instalment, includes narratives for 187 countries and territories, including the United States. 

The report is available at: https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2018/

One European country stands out in particular for having been demoted-Ireland- was downgraded to Tier 2, for insufficient action on modern slavery. The Tier 2 ranking places Ireland on a par with Indonesia and India because of what it describes as the government’s failure to adequately protect victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and labour abuse, as well as failure to convict traffickers, despite the introduction of legislation in recent years. Of particular criticism was reference to permitting human slavery to flourish in the fishing industry, a sector where ‘’…human rights are under constant attack …by unscrupulous and greedy employers,’’ according to the International Transport Worker’s Federation.   

During the ceremony, Secretary Pompeo and Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump, who has taken a leadership role in highlighting human trafficking as a priority for this Administration, honoured the 2018 TIP Report Heroes, men and women from around the globe whose tireless efforts have made a lasting impact on the fight against modern slavery. Following the ceremony, many of the Heroes now travel to cities across the United States to engage with the American people through an International Visitor Leadership Program. 

In launching the report, US Secretary of State, Mr. Michael Pompeo, stated:

‘’ This year’s report focuses on effective ways local communities can address human trafficking proactively and on how national governments can support and empower them.  Local communities are the most affected by this abhorrent crime and are also the first in line of defence against human trafficking.

By engaging and training law enforcement, religious leaders, teachers, tribal elders, business executives and communities, we become more vigilant and learn to identify and address vulnerabilities swiftly. Proactive community-driven measures strengthen our ability to protect our most vulnerable and weaken a criminal’s ability to infiltrate, recruit and exploit.

I have experienced first-hand that individuals closest to a problem are often the best resource to solving it, which is why the Department prioritises equipping and empowering front-line civil society leaders.

Modern slavery has no place in the world and I intend to ensure through diplomatic engagement and increased action, that the United States government’s leadership in combating this global threat is sustained in the years to come.’’

For a thorough analysis of the TIP 2018 report, please see the latest edition of Stop Trafficking, prepared by Jean Schafer, SDS, available at:  http://www.stopenslavement.org/

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

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