Friday, January 13, 2017

Secretary Kerry's Statement on National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness

John Kerry, Secretary of State
Washington D.C. 
January 11, 2017

Congress designated January 11 as the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness in 2007, targeting a problem with an estimated 20 million victims in every corner of the world.

Human trafficking continues today to be a threat to freedom and stability, undermining the rule of law, scarring communities, and degrading the rights of individuals.
We must not waver in our resolve to combat this crime.

The State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons has led the United States' global engagement against human trafficking, and with our embassies and consulates, collaborates with foreign government and nongovernmental partners to continue to raise awareness of this issue and press for change around the world.

In India, the U.S. Mission collaborated with a local NGO and state and local governments to develop a grassroots awareness-raising program and launch an anti-trafficking caravan, staffed by survivors of human trafficking, that traveled through the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha and reached some one million people.

The U.S. government has partnered with the Mexican government to host a series of events, trainings, and meetings to raise awareness, build capacity, and discuss progress and challenges in combating trafficking in persons.

As the Chair of the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, I have worked closely with our federal partners to do more to bring justice to victims and empower survivors to successfully rebuild their lives.
I have also found strong partners in Congress, where many Members from both parties are leaders on this important issue.

Just last month, following a long collaboration with congressional partners, the President signed into law a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 that authorizes State Department funding to be used for grants that support transformational programs to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery.

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