U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry releases the 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report and honors the 2013 TIP Report Heroes, men and women whose personal efforts have made an extraordinary difference in the global fight against modern slavery, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on June 19, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a video message on the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/04/207232.htm

Partnerships To Combat Modern Slavery

A placard of a child sits on a table during a conference on modern slavery, Oct. 31, 2011 in Atlanta. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Ambassador Luis CdeBaca serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State and directs the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Yesterday, the White House hosted a Forum to Combat Human Trafficking to highlight the Obama Administration’s accomplishments in the fight against modern slavery, demonstrate its ongoing and steadfast commitment to this issue, and engage the stakeholder community. Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz; Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett; and Assistant to the President, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, and Executive Director of the Council on Women and Girls… more »

A Champion in the Fight Against Child Labor

Fishermen work together to haul in a net in the fishing community of Chorkor in Accra, Ghana, Dec. 11, 2008. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Carol Pier serves as Acting Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs.

The warm waters of Lake Volta in eastern Ghana support local fishermen from the small town of Kete-Krachi, which is perched on the edge of the lake. If you were to stand upon the shore, you would see numerous wooden boats bobbing on the waters with two or three fishermen in each, trolling for the day’s catch.

The lake is where local fishermen earn a living for their families, but it is also a destination for thousands of trafficked children. Sold by their parents in exchange for food, these children work 20 hours a day casting nets. Many are forced to dive into the lake’s dangerous waters to wrestle nets free from trees; far too often, they dive in but never resurface.

Dismayed by the plight of these children, a schoolteacher in Kete-Krachi named George Achibra took action. He began to keep track of the children he saw working on the lake, befriending them… more »

One Billion Rising

Women participate in an event to support the One Billion Rising global campaign in Hyderabad, India, Feb. 14, 2013. [AP Photo]

About the Author: Ambassador Luis CdeBaca serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State and directs the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Today all over the world people — men and women — will rise in solidarity and call for an end to violence against women. Why is this happening? The rising started with a handful of advocates seeking to call global attention to the violence that is perpetrated against women and girls every day and it has been fueled by awareness and concern in communities around the world that this abuse is a serious human rights issue that must end. Communities are connected as never before by technology and social media — and the result is a worldwide call to action.

Violence against women and girls undermines their full participation in society and is found and cuts across ethnicity, race, class, religion, education level, and international borders. The numbers are staggering. An estimated one in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in their… more »

United States-Myanmar Joint Plan on Trafficking in Persons

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 18, 2012


The Governments of the Union of Myanmar and the United States; affirming their commitment to the global effort to combat human trafficking, a modern form of slavery that afflicts both of our nations; recognizing the requirements and provisions of the UN Protocol to Suppress, Punish, and Prevent Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the 2000 UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime; acknowledging the progress made by the Government of Myanmar in addressing sex trafficking and forced labor over the last two years, particularly:

  • The repealing of the 1907 Towns and Villages Acts, which provided legal condoning of the government officials’ use forced labor;
  • The enactment of the 2012 Wards and Village Tracts Administration Act, which explicitly criminalizes all forms of forced labor;
  • The forging with the International Labor Organization (ILO) of a time-bound, comprehensive action plan to tackle forced labor in Myanmar;
  • The opening of two additional border liaison offices on the Thai border to prevent cross-border trafficking;
  • The signing of a child soldiers action plan with the United Nations that calls for the release of child soldiers from the Burmese armed forces and access to military sites and prisons to inspect for the presence of child soldiers;
  • The opening, in collaboration with the Thai government, of five Myanmar Ministry of Labor-staff migrant help centers inside Thailand; and the more robust anti-trafficking efforts undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs-chaired Central Body on Trafficking in Persons (CBTIP), such as the abolishment of the mandatory detention time in government shelters for trafficking victims;

And recognizing that the Union of Myanmar’s anti-trafficking efforts will be enhanced through the sharing of technical knowledge and best practices from the United States and its partners in this global effort against trafficking in persons. MORE.

Ten Years Later: Remembering Senator Paul Wellstone

U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., speaks during an interview in Manchester, N.H., April 24, 1998. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Ambassador-at-Large Luis Cdebaca serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State and directs the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Ten years ago, in the federal courthouse in Honolulu, I was among a small group of civil rights prosecutors who had just started trial in the largest slavery prosecution in U.S. history, in which over 300 Chinese and Vietnamese workers had been enslaved in a garment factory in American Samoa. But on the third day of trial, a hammer blow fell on our prosecution team: Paul and Sheila Wellstone’s airplane had gone down in northeastern Minnesota, taking their lives as well as that of their daughter and several aides. Senator Wellstone was not just the conscience of the Senate, a voice for the dispossessed and an inspiration to so many, he was the sponsor of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. He was not only a fellow Midwestern wrestler, but had been… more »

Combating Modern Slavery 150 Years After the Emancipation Proclamation

Child laborers carry stones, Gauhati, India, June 11, 2008. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Luis CdeBaca serves as the Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, announcing his intention to emancipate all the slaves in the Confederate states that did not return to the Union within 100 days. On January 1, 1863, he declared free the 3.1 million slaves in those states.

Today, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of that date in 1862, which heralded the victory of freedom and justice, and our country’s ongoing commitment to those values. Yet, at the same time, as many as 27 million men, women, and children around the world live in a state of modern slavery — what we also refer to as trafficking in persons. So as we mark this occasion, we reflect not just on the tragedy of the past, but on the ongoing responsibility to fight for freedom. To honor the memories of those who lived and died in bondage, and those who fought and died so that… more »

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for a photo with the 2012 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report  Heroes, individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on June 19, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for a photo with the 2012 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report  Heroes, individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on June 19, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S.Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Under Secretary Maria Otero, Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, and Vincent Paraiso deliver remarks during the release of the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C on June 19, 2012. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]