Secretary Kerry Addresses Annual Meeting of the President's Human Trafficking Task Force

Today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the annual meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) at the White House in Washington, DC.  Secretary Kerry discussed progress the Obama Administration has made in raising the profile of this challenge -- an ongoing effort that has had an impact on countries all around the world.

In his remarks, Secretary Kerry made clear, trafficking in persons is “not simply a question of right versus wrong” and underscored that it is in the United States’ strategic interest to ensure addressing this issues is a policy priority.  

Underscoring the widespread effects human trafficking can have on societies, Secretary Kerry  outlined the many ways human trafficking is a threat to global security. “The fact is that human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise. It’s assault on human rights... It undermines the rule of law, it breeds corruption, it spreads disease, it widens the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and it tears whole families apart. So it’s counter to every single thing that we are trying to accomplish in the field of development and everything that we would like to see in our communities and in communities elsewhere in the world as we try to live up to the 2030 development goals,” he said.

Secretary Kerry made clear, that it is in all of the Task Force members interest to  ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice and empower all victims and survivors to rebuild their lives. He pointed to several ways the Obama Administration is creating a sense of urgency around this issue, such as a critical executive order to ensure that no federal contract contributes to human trafficking. Secretary Kerry also highlighted this year’s Trafficking in Persons Report, which calls on all governments to develop a better understanding of the needs of at-risk populations and to adopt strategies to reduce their vulnerability and keep them safe.  

He also identified other efforts to mobilize resources and fight human trafficking, such as an upcoming effort toimprove outreach on prevention and victim identification. As an example of how human trafficking cuts across U.S. priorities, Secretary Kerry highlighted a recent commitment made at this fall the Our Ocean conference to invest more time and money than ever before in fighting forced labor in the worldwide fishing industry.

Secretary Kerry concluded with optimism, sharing his hope that the group would not only take stock, but push harder across the board to keep the momentum going, and ensure that this critical work leaves the next administration with the best starting point possible.

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Comments

Monika W.
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Virginia, USA
December 14, 2016
I have a question addressed to Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Susan Coppehedge. I would like to question why the State Department is not doing anything about human and child trafficking in the USA, even particularly in the DC/NOVA area where the courts are trafficking out children from mothers without cause, as well placing children in foster care who then tend to disappear and get lost in the system. Many of these children are sex trafficked. This is a real problem that has been mocked by main stream media and covered up. It seems disingenuous that the State Department is advocating to stop human and child trafficking when in reality it has not helped in it's own country. If you think I am wrong then please feel free to contact me, I do of course work in your agency.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chairs the Annual Meeting of the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) at the White House in Washington, D.C., on October 24, 2016. [State Department photo]
Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 24, 2016

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