Statement on the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report and Heroes in the Fight Against Modern Slavery

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
June 21, 2012

Thank you, Chair,

On Tuesday, June 19, Secretary Clinton transmitted to Congress the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report.  The annual report aims to stimulate action and create partnerships around the world in the fight against modern-day slavery.

This year, the theme of the report is the “Promise of Freedom” – a call for every government, including the United States, to commit itself to fulfilling the promise of freedom from slavery embodied in modern anti-trafficking laws and international protocols by punishing traffickers, providing services and legal recourse to victims, and preventing this crime from occurring.

Every year, the State Department recognizes what it calls ‘Heroes in the Fight Against Modern Slavery.’  The United States is delighted that our own OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Trafficking in Human Beings Maria Grazia Giammarinaro has been recognized for her extraordinary contributions and has been named as a Hero this year.  We extend our sincere congratulations to her and her office, and applaud her leadership in the OSCE.

With her and the guidance of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE offers unique opportunities to examine and improve the implementation of our commitments on trafficking.  We encourage delegations to use the TIP Report as an important tool to advance this effort and look forward to the critical review at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in the fall.

Thank you, Chair.