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2012 Trafficking in Persons Report Released

On June 19th, the U.S. State Department released its 2012 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Suzanne Tomatore, Director of the City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Women and Children Project, attended the event in Washington, D.C., where Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her staff introduced the report and provided remarks.

The event also featured the ten 2012 TIP Heroes, a diverse group that included law enforcement agents, attorneys, advocates and survivors of human trafficking from around the world who were honored for their commitment to anti-trafficking work.

TIP Report photo

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with the 2012 "TIP Heroes." (State Department photo.)

The TIP Report provides a comprehensive analysis of modern-day slavery around the world, under the guidelines of “prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership.” Individual countries are evaluated on their progress and responses in their attempt to eradicate human trafficking. This year, 29 countries have been upgraded for their progress on anti-trafficking initiatives, including stepping up laws, prosecutions, or by providing a plan to do so. The report also highlights compelling stories of human trafficking.

The U.S. government also reviews efforts here in the U.S. to combat human trafficking, including challenges, successes and recommendations. Tomatore said, “It is of particular note that the U.S. has recognized that there is a need for better data collection and more funding for victim services. It is also exciting to see a multi-dimensional view on trafficking as a human rights issue.”

Anti-trafficking advocates are pleased to see that temporary immigration “Continued Presence” benefits for foreign born survivors of human trafficking increased in FY 2011, to 283 potential victim-witnesses, up from 186 in FY 2010, and that additional recommendations in the Report include a “zero tolerance” policy in government contracting.

“Overall, I am very pleased with the balance of issues and the self-reflection of the U.S. government in the TIP Report”, said Ms. Tomatore. Through the Freedom Network, a national coalition of non-governmental anti-trafficking organizations of which Ms. Tomatore is currently a co-chair, the Immigrant Women & Children Project submits comments to the TIP Report as it is prepared each year.

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