2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, Department of State

June 29, 2017

"Today we take another key step towards that goal. The 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report highlights the successes achieved and the remaining challenges before us on this important global issue." – Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State 

Were you drinking your coffee this morning on your way to work? Did you pack your child’s lunch with their favorite fruits and vegetables? Did you check your email on your smartphone? There is no denying that our lives are connected to forced labor and human trafficking simply from the products we use every day. Staying an informed consumer and finding alternative products to purchase is one step to combatting human trafficking and forced labor, but our education does not stop there.

On the morning of June 27th, the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report was released by the Department Of State Trafficking in Persons Office (TIP Office). The TIP Office partners with foreign governments, international organizations, civil society, and the private sector to develop and implement effective strategies for confronting modern slavery.

This year’s report focuses on criminalization and accountability of traffickers. Our silence conceals this crime and this Report encourages accountability of governments and highlights the challenges in combating human trafficking and forced labor.

Along with a continual mention of children in armed conflict, there were several new “Topics of Special Interest” addressed in the 2017 Report such as:

-       Paying to Work: The High Cost of Recruitment Fees

-       Human Trafficking: A Public Health Perspective

-       Assisting Male Survivors of Human Trafficking

-       Engaging Survivors of Human Trafficking

-       Online Sexual Exploitation of Children: An Alarming Trend

-       Media Reporting on Human Trafficking

The report evaluates, assesses and rates country governments on their progress in addressing trafficking through a tier system. Through the collection of information and data from U.S. embassies, government officials, nongovernmental and international organizations, published reports, news articles, and academic studies, the TIP Office was able to generate this report.

One of the strongest qualities of this report is the intentional incorporation of survivors that lead the direction of the report. The Report also highlights the 2017 TIP Report Heroes, individuals who are working in NGOs, serving as lawyers, police officers or concerned citizens help guide the report to be one that is survivor-centric and survivor-led.

The issue of child trafficking is a bipartisan issue, and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), a huge UNICEF supporter and a lifetime advocate against child trafficking was present. He played a large role in the development of this report as well as drawing attention to the issue by introducing legislation. All and all, the #TIPReport continues to be a strong international instrument to hold our countries accountable while promoting new partnership to tackle human trafficking and forced labor around the world.

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TAKE ACTION TODAY:

- Stand with #ChildrenUprooted by signing the pledge today - share it with friends and family.

- Educate your community – Learn how else you can take action to protect children through our End Trafficking Toolkit.

Learn the signs and report it – If you see something say something, report it to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Also available in Spanish.

- Work with your community to host an event or a fundraiser to support UNICEF’s great work!

- Look through our other wonderful resources that are offered on our End Trafficking webpage.

For more ideas, contact our team at endtraffick@uniceusa.org and follow us on Twitter @EndTraffick!

Remember children are #childrenfirst!

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The End Trafficking project is UNICEF USA’s initiative to raise awareness about child trafficking and mobilize communities to take meaningful action to help protect children. We do this by conducting workshops, facilitating film screenings, advocating for federal and state legislation and educating the American public on UNICEF’s work to protect children globally.