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|June 28, 2011: Hastings Applauds 2011 State Department Trafficking In Persons Report|
(Fort Lauderdale, FL) Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) made the following statement in response to the State Department's release of their 11th annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report:
"The TIP Report is the United States government's principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. Congress played a role in assuring the creation of this report through the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act so that the fight for liberty and the fight against modern slavery could be tackled, and I was proud to vote in favor of this measure in October 2000. Major forms of human trafficking include: forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, and child sex trafficking.
"Fighting against human trafficking is an enormous challenge. I applaud the people around the world who are the frontlines freeing millions men, women, and children from the prison of trafficking exploitation, isolation, and abuse. I want to recognize this year's State Department TIP Report Heroes, individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. These individuals are NGO workers, lawmakers, police officers, and concerned citizens who are committed to ending modern slavery. Through their tireless efforts, victims now are more protected, offenders are being punished, and awareness is being raised of the ongoing criminal practices in their countries and internationally. They are leading this fight despite opposition, threats to their lives, and hostility. They are heroes in the truest sense. The 2011 TIP Heroes include: Leonel Dubon of Guatemala, Esme Kisting of Namibia, Darlene Pajarito of Philippines, Dilcya Garcia of Mexico, Sheila Roseau of Antigua and Barbuda, Eva Biaudet of Finland, Charimaya Tamang of Nepal, Swati Chauhan of India, Amela Efendic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bridget Lew Tan of Singapore.
"I would like to especially congratulate Eva Biaudet, a global leader on women's rights and anti-trafficking efforts. I personally worked with Ms. Biaudet from 2006-2009 in her capacity as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Special Representative for Combating Human Trafficking in Vienna, during my time as an officer of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. I witnessed Ms. Biaudet's tireless efforts to ensure that modern slavery is an issue taken seriously by all countries around the world. Her commitment to ending modern day slavery is truly extraordinary."
To learn more about the 2011 State Department TIP Report Heroes, please visit http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2011/164227.htm. For information on the human trafficking crisis in the United States, please visit my website http://www.alceehastings.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=665:human-trafficking-in-the-united-states&catid=60.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.