WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 19, 2013) – Following the release of the 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report today by the U.S. Department of State, Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris Project, released the following statement:
“Polaris Project applauds the State Department’s 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report for again spotlighting the appallingly high rate of human trafficking around the globe, including here in the United States. The report rightly condemns those governments who have failed to take effective measures to curb this human rights abuse, while celebrating the progress made in many countries.
“We strongly support the recommendations offered for the U.S., and agree that increasing funding for services for all victims of human trafficking — including U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, men, women and children — should be a top priority. The U.S. government’s first-ever federal strategic action plan to strengthen services for trafficking victims is an important milestone, and we strongly support an increase in funding to accelerate the government’s ability to implement this plan.
“Significant progress has also been made at the state level. As of February, all 50 states have now outlawed human trafficking, and we are witnessing a promising trend towards laws that increase protections for survivors of human trafficking. Nonetheless, it is still possible for child victims of sex trafficking to be arrested and prosecuted for prostitution in dozens of states, and we urge more states to pass ‘Safe Harbor’ laws that instead provide support for these young victims of exploitation and abuse.”
“Finally, we are pleased to see a mention of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, operated by Polaris Project and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The hotline responded to nearly 21,000 calls in 2012, connected more than 2,300 survivors to services and support, and received credible tips of human trafficking in every state and the District of Columbia. In 2013, we are already seeing a 45% increase in call volume compared to 2012, along with increases in emails, web forms, and now text messages. This growth reinforces to us that the hotline is a highly effective way to identify and reach victims of human trafficking in the U.S. and connect them to the services they need to free themselves and rebuild their lives.”
“The TIP report reminds us that every government around the world has an essential role to play to firmly eradicate this form of modern slavery. No one should sit idly by while millions of abused and exploited women, men and children have lost their freedom.”
To get help, report a tip, or request information or training, call The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or send a text message to BeFree (233733).
About Polaris Project
Polaris Project is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and globally. By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-373-7888), conducting trainings, and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.