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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Human Trafficking

Luis CdeBaca
Ambassador-at-Large, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Washington, DC
June 8, 2010


Hello and welcome to the online hub of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

I am Lou deBaca. I serve as the Ambassador charged with directing the Department’s efforts to combat human trafficking and to coordinate the Obama Administration’s interagency response to this global scourge.

What is human trafficking you might ask? Well, as Secretary Clinton rightly said, "let’s just call it what it is – it’s a modern form of slavery."

And that type of slavery exists in communities, countries, and cultures spanning the globe, including here in the United States.

Clearly defined by U.S. law under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and on the international scene by the UN’s Palermo Protocol, human trafficking basically comes down to being the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel the services of another person. Traffickers subject victims to labor exploitation, sexual exploitation, and sometimes both.

The State Department uses a multi-pronged approach against this critical human rights crime.

Each year, the Office releases the Trafficking in Persons Report. It’s a diagnostic tool used to gauge individual country’s efforts against human trafficking. And this year, at the direction of Secretary Clinton, the United States will be ranked for the first time. This reflects an important U.S. commitment to "lead by example."

We also partner with non-governmental organizations across the globe to fund programs focusing on protection, prevention, and prosecution efforts. We have lifted thousands of women, children, and men out of modern slavery; we’ve trained law enforcement officials, health care providers, and social service advocates with best practices, and we’ve provided services in times of emergency and crisis.

The Obama Administration’s committed to making real progress in the fight against modern slavery.

As the President has proclaimed, “We must join together as a Nation and a global community to provide that safe haven by protecting victims and prosecuting their traffickers. With improved victim identification, medical and social services, training for first responders, and increased public awareness, the men, women, and children who have suffered this scourge can overcome the bonds of modern slavery, they can receive protection and justice, and successfully reclaim their rightful independence.”

So please join us in our efforts to end this terrible crime once and for all. Thank you.

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