The Trafficking In Persons Report is a yearly effort by the State Department, in conjunction with other agencies, to survey the pervasiveness of human trafficking worldwide. The following is excerpted from the report:
Human trafficking is a global phenomenon to which no country is immune. Victims of modern slavery are exploited in every region of the world, compelled into service for labor or commercial sex in the real world of industry and on the pages of the internet. The enormity of the problem necessitates the development of a unified, comprehensive response from world leaders to collectively address a crime that defies all borders.
Despite its global reach, human trafficking takes place locally— in a favorite nail salon or restaurant; in a neighborhood home or popular hotel; on a city street or rural farm. Local communities face the realities and consequences of modern slavery, including weakened rule of law, strained public health systems, and decreased economic development, while traffickers profit from the exploitation of others.
International recognition of the devastating effects of human trafficking grows each year. As of the date of this report, governments of more than 170 countries have made public commitments to its eradication, promising punishment for traffickers, care for victims, and action to prevent this crime. The importance of these commitments cannot be overstated.
Yet, the grinding reality of fighting modern slavery takes place not on world stages but through the dedicated actions of individuals to meaningfully implement such commitments—in the slow and often tedious process of building a strong case against a trafficker; the long-term and case-specific provision of comprehensive care for victims; the consistent efforts of civil society partners to strategically raise awareness about human trafficking; and the development of well-planned and evidence-driven preventive policies.
National governments cannot do these things alone. Their commitments to this issue are more effectively realized in partnership with the communities that face it, including local authorities, NGOs and advocates, and individual community members who are often the eyes, ears, and hearts of the places they call home. After all, traffickers exploit the political, social, economic, and cultural contours of local communities, often in ways that would be hard to address fully from a distance. By supporting and empowering these communities, national governments can truly begin to address the individual trafficking cases that collectively make up the larger global issue.