2014 Trafficking in Persons Report – Statement by Laura J. Lederer

July 14, 2014Comments are closed.

“Once again the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report has shed light on the tragedy of modern day slavery. Around the world many men, women, and children are being subjected to inhumane treatment, exploited as commercial sex objects and forced to work as slaves. The TIP Report provides valuable information, and is an important diplomatic tool for assessing government action.

“One important addition to the TIP Report in the last couple of years is the increasing attention paid to the demand side of human trafficking. Human trafficking has a triangular business model:  supply, demand, and distribution, and each part of this triangle of activity must be addressed if we are to make progress. Global Centurion examines the demand side of human trafficking, whether labor trafficking, sex trafficking or organ trafficking. After a careful review of this year’s Trafficking in Persons Report, Global Centurion found that less than 40% of countries around the world are doing anything to stop the demand for forced labor and sex slavery. Of those countries who are addressing demand, efforts often fall far short of what is needed to make a real difference in the lives of the people hurt most. Prosecuting a few sex buyers without getting any convictions is not enough. Cursory and sporadic education on the harms of sex trafficking is not enough. Governments around the world must institute and enforce laws with strong penalties for end users, while protecting those women and children trapped in the sex trade. Education must be prioritized, both for convicted users and for buyers of all kinds, for they fuel the market for human trafficking.

“The TIP Report also provides examples of progress. Several countries are making real advances that the world rest of the world can emulate.

  • The Dominican Republic and several other countries now maintain specialized police units to investigate and prosecute child sex tourism cases.
  • Countries as diverse as France and Georgia are distributing educational information to potential sex buyers on the harms of human trafficking in an effort to reduce demand.
  • In the United States a growing number of states are passing legislation that specifically targets the demand for human trafficking with deterrence for potential users and comprehensive care for victims.

“The TIP Report will continue to be a valuable measuring tool that provides an incentive for nations seeking international respect and aid to change their policies on human trafficking. But there is work to be done. To eradicate human trafficking we must redouble our efforts to target and reduce demand.”

-Laura J. Lederer
President & Founder, Global Centurion Foundation

Read the 2014 TIP Report here.