WASHINGTON, D.C. — Polaris Project, a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern slavery, released the following statement today on the U.S. Department of State’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The TIP Report is the U.S. Government’s key resource to work with foreign governments on the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery. The State Department lists each country in three tiers based on how well the governments meet the “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons” set by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris Project, said:
“The State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report is a critical tool in the global fight against modern slavery and puts necessary pressure on governments to take a hard look at their efforts to stop human trafficking. Every government plays a pivotal role in eliminating this illegal industry that generates $150 billion in profits every year worldwide.
“The TIP Report shows us that the global safety net is currently too weak to quickly and effectively provide all survivors with the help they need. Once again, less than one percent of an estimated 21 million victims of human trafficking have been identified worldwide. A robust response network is needed that can truly reach victims, help survivors rebuild their lives, hold traffickers accountable, and push the world closer to eradicating modern slavery. Human trafficking hotlines are integral to this effort so trained specialists can connect victims to life-saving services, and to identify where and how human trafficking is happening. Based on Polaris Project’s experience operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center in the United States, we are working to reinforce the global safety net by mapping, connecting, and supporting human trafficking and related hotlines around the world. This effort requires all countries to take concrete steps to invest in local services that can support survivors.
“In the United States, the TIP Report describes numerous ways state and federal entities have made efforts to establish a foundational response to sex and labor trafficking. However, considerable work remains to fill serious gaps in victim services and other key areas. The ‘continued presence’ status that is currently conferred to victims by federal law enforcement for cooperating with investigations against their traffickers is broken. It is not being awarded in accordance with its intended purpose and fails to address the concept of a victim reflection period. In a victim-centered response, survivors of human trafficking shouldn’t have to wait months and years to find employment or receive the services they need while their immigration status is determined. Furthermore, while the states and federal government have demonstrated a strong commitment to ending human trafficking, significant hurdles remain in implementing this legislation and allocating the real funds needed to support survivors.”
A copy of the 2014 TIP Report can be accessed here.
People can receive help or report a tip of suspected human trafficking by calling the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888 or by sending a text to Polaris at “BeFree” (233733).
Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world’s leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.