Washington, D.C., June 27, 2017
In 2001, the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons released the very first Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Trafficking in Persons is most often described as human trafficking. The State Department has released this report each year since 2001. The report ranks governments based on their perceived efforts to acknowledge and combat human trafficking. Those who rank low on the list may have U.S. aid funding decreased or eliminated.
We can thank the TIP Report for each and every victim we have helped over the years. In 2004, our Founder, Tomas Lares, attended a meeting with Senator Sam Brownback’s staff. The focus of the meeting was the recently published TIP Report. This is when Mr. Lares first learned of the atrocity of modern-day slavery. His life would never be the same. Mr. Lares left the meeting with a passion for stopping human trafficking. Since that day, he has helped hundreds of victims find freedom and has prevented many more from becoming trafficked through the organization he founded, Florida Abolitionist.
The 2017 TIP Report was released today. It ranks 187 countries as Tier 1 to Tier 3. The lower the tier, the less they are doing to actively combat human trafficking. In addition to the ranking, the report is a wealth of helpful information. Reading the report will open your eyes to the many ways human trafficking occurs in our world. It is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the global epidemic of human trafficking.
Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, says human trafficking “robs human beings of their freedom and their dignity. That’s why we must pursue an end to the scourge of human trafficking.” He continues stating that this year’s report “focuses on the responsibility of governments to criminalize human trafficking and hold offenders accountable.”
The report uncovers the growing rate at which children are being sexually exploited online. Not only this but the many forms of labor trafficking in countries around the world. As wars displace millions of refugees, their struggle to survive makes them extremely vulnerable to exploitation. Human trafficking is far-reaching and takes many forms. It happens anywhere someone is willing to exploit a vulnerable person for profit. From fishing boats to brick kilns, from factories to brothels, the exploitation is widespread.
While the truth is shocking, there are many who are standing up for freedom. This year, 8 individuals were named TIP Heroes for the ways they are helping to bring justice and eradicate human trafficking in their countries.
Download the full TIP Report from the State Department here: 2017 TIP Report
*Picture 1 courtesy TIP Report, Jodi Cobb / National Geographic Creative, Picture 2 courtesy TIP Report,Thomas J. Abercrombie / National Geographic Creative