|The third annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report), issued by the State Department, and mandated by Congress under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, is the most comprehensive report on the efforts of governments worldwide to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons or “modern-day slavery.”
Women, children, and men are trafficked into the international sex trade and into forced labor situations throughout the world. Many are lured by promises of good jobs, unaware their travel documents will be seized, they will be held in debt bondage, or that they will be subject to brutal beatings. Traffickers also kidnap and abduct victims.
Traffickers, who may be freelancers or members of organized criminal networks, use threats, intimidation and violence to force victims to engage in sex acts or to labor under conditions comparable to slavery for the traffickers’ financial gain.
Countries included in the report are designated as “a country of origin, transit, or destination for a significant number of victims of severe forms of trafficking.” Each country which has a significant number of victims is assigned to one of three tiers, based on the government’s efforts to combat trafficking. Governments that fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking are placed on Tier 1. Those making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance are placed on Tier 2. Countries whose governments are not making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance are placed on Tier 3.
n116 Countries in Tiers 1-3:
Tier 1 = 26
Tier 2 = 75
Tier 3 = 15
nSanctions decided 45-90 days after report issued
nU.S. has provided $100 million, in fiscal years 2001 and 2002, to combat international trafficking
n800,000 - 900,000 persons trafficked across borders annually
n18,000 - 20,000 persons trafficked into the U.S. annually
No country is immune from trafficking. A recent U.S. Government estimate indicates that approximately 800,000-900,000 people are trafficked across international borders worldwide annually, and between 18,000 and 20,000 of those victims are trafficked into the United States. The Department of Justice recently compiled an assessment of USG anti-trafficking efforts, which will be released this summer.
A number of innovative anti-trafficking efforts came to light during the preparation of the TIP Report and through the Trafficking Offices engagement with foreign governments and international and non-governmental organizations throughout the year. Many of these efforts are particularly noteworthy because they demonstrate sustainable low- or no-cost anti-trafficking measures.
U.S.G. continues to expand programmatic assistance to NGOs, international organizations, and committed governments. In the last two years, the U.S. government has invested over $100 million, in fiscal years 2001 and 2002, in programs to address prevention, protection, and assistance to victims, and prosecution of traffickers for 92 countries around the world.