Human Trafficking Report Released By U.S. State Department

Human Trafficking Report Released By U.S. State Department

Jun 21

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Download a copy of the report here (pdf)

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RELATED WEBSITES:

Wikipedia on Human Trafficking
Don’t Sell Bodies
Not For Sale

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING REPORT BY U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SHOWS FREEDOM REMAINS ELUSIVE FOR MILLIONS
Huffington Post
June 21, 2012

Original Link

As many as 27 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking, including sex trafficking, forced labor and the use of child soldiers, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of State.

“Despite the adoption of treaties and laws prohibiting slavery, the evidence nevertheless shows that many men, women and children continue to live in modern-day slavery through the scourge of trafficking in persons,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says in the report.

The State Department lists 17 countries in “Tier 3,” the lowest ranking on the scale of human trafficking, for their failure to comply with the minimum standards stated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). A crisis-wrought Syria, which last week dropped 31 spots in the Global Peace Index, shares the ranking with 16 others, including Cuba, Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Libya, the report showed.

“This report, which is being issued today, gives a clear and honest assessment of where all of us are making progress on our commitments and where we are either standing still or even sliding backwards. It takes a hard look at every government in the world, including our own,” Clinton said when presenting the report.

The U.S. ranked among the highest-scoring countries in the ranking, along with Australia, South Korea, Iceland, Poland, Italy and Nicaragua, among others.

The presentation of the report was attended by Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, the Washington Post writes. Pinkett Smith did not speak at the event, but released a music video directed by actress Salma Hayek that addresses the issue of sex trafficking.

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MRS. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON TO FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING
By Arienne Thompson
USA Today
June 20, 2012

Original Link

It’s not every day that your 11-year-old wants to have a conversation about human trafficking and sex slavery.

But that’s exactly what happened to Jada Pinkett Smith when daughter Willow broached the topic after watching the KONY 2012 video (about a Ugandan warlord) that went viral this spring.

“She did her own research and realized that there were young girls her age in this country being trafficked for sex,” Pinkett Smith remembers. “She was like, ‘Mommy — you don’t know what’s happening!’ I was like, ‘Hold up, pause right there!’ And, she was like, ‘I’ve got to give my voice to this. These young girls out there need me.’ ”

That simple directive from Willow, who has gained fame herself with a hot music career, pushed Pinkett Smith, 40, to ally herself with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the fight against human trafficking and sex slavery. The Madagascar 3 star and husband Will Smith visited the State Department Tuesday for Clinton’s release of the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, which details the nation’s anti-trafficking efforts.

“I was actually really quite ashamed that I didn’t know about this particular situation in our country, because when you think about human trafficking, you think about it ‘over there.’ Wherever ‘there’ is,” Pinkett Smith says.

That guilt, however, is fueling her activism for the sensitive issue. Pinkett Smith recorded the song Nada Se Compara with her band Wicked Evolution and starred in a video directed by Salma Hayek, which is posted on the site DontSellBodies.org.

Pinkett Smith is also using the macro platform of anti-trafficking to continue important micro conversations with Willow.

“She’s gotten very sensitive on how she deals with her social communication (online). Because as beautiful as the Internet is, it’s a conduit for this kind of activity. A lot of this happens on the Internet; young girls being sold,” Pinkett Smith says. “Really with Willow, I (hope to) keep her sense of self and of owning herself and of being in contact with her own power, because a lot of these young girls get caught up in this because they’re disempowered.”

Pinkett Smith further urges communities to empower themselves to put an end to human trafficking.

“The face of trafficking in the United States, it’s really our kids who are being affected; really young girls,” she says. “It’s being able as a community to educate ourselves to know what this looks like. When you talk about modern-day slavery, you don’t see chains. It’s all about the mind. … So, it’s a very layered, complex issue that’s going to take some time for us to figure out how to pull apart. … Right now, we just have to get aware.”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSDYzmW2RNw

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