CdeBaca Testifies On Trafficking


There is a partnership across the United States government when it comes to fighting human trafficking. So said U.S. Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca from the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
CdeBaca Testifies On Trafficking
Cora, a trafficking survivor, walks with her case manager and social worker in Sierra Leone. (Credit: Women's Health Initiative)
Speaking before Congress, he said, "It's a partnership rooted in the idea that we as a nation need to stand up for universal values - freedom, justice, the dignity of all people – here at home and around the world.

One of the most important diplomatic tools the United States has to fight the scourge of modern slavery is its annual Trafficking in Persons report. The 2013 report notes that trafficking affects every country in the world, and no government is doing enough to fight it.

A major focus this year is the challenge of victim identification. When done well, it opens the door to the support and services victims of trafficking need. It leads to more investigations and prosecutions of traffickers. Yet only around 40,000 victims have been identified in the last year. In contrast, social scientists estimate that as many as 27 million men, women, and children are trafficking victims at any given time. That massive gap, said Ambassador CdeBaca "represents the millions who toil unseen and beyond the reach of law, and it shows how far we have to go in this effort.

Beyond the global trends, the trafficking report includes assessments of 188 countries and territories on their governments’ effectiveness in combating this crime. This year, more countries were downgraded than upgraded, by a margin of roughly two to one.

"The trafficking report doesn't pull any punches," said Ambassador CdeBaca. "It's thorough and candid." Trafficking is a tough issue and demands serious attention.