Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo’s remarks on the Release of the Trafficking in Persons (TIP), at the Department of State.
Good afternoon. Welcome to the tip Report. Rollout for 2020. My name’s John Richmond and I have the honor of serving the team at the Trafficking in Persons Office at the Department of State. I’m pleased to join Secretary Mike Pompeo an adviser Ivanka Trump, in releasing the 20th annual Trafficking in Persons Report in the historic Treaty Room here at the Department of State. Today’s release marks a historic milestone in the fight to end trafficking around the world. The United States is committed to ending modern slavery, and one of the strongest indications of our commitment is the report that we are launching today, the 20th in a row. For 20 years we have been at this work together, we remain steadfast and declaring that there is no excuse for human trafficking and that governments must take bold action in order to bring the reforms that are necessary. Today we celebrate progress and lean forward with hope into the work that remains to all of you who are joining us virtually. It matters greatly that you have chosen to turn your attention to the release of this report. Whether you’re a seasoned leader in the movement, we’re just beginning your advocacy. We’re grateful to have you here today. A brief word about today’s program. We’ll begin with remarks from Secretary Pompeo and then adviser Trump. Following these remarks will honor our 10 courageous trafficking in persons heroes. Individuals who dedicated their lives to combating human trafficking after the presentation of awards will hear brief remarks from one of this year’s tip report Heroes Miss Sophie O. T. And A. Then we’ll offer a word of closing and you all will be able to download the 20th anniversary report to share with others. Now, ladies and gentlemen, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. Thank you, Ambassador Richmond, Thank you for the kind introduction. Welcome Won’t get first a foremost all the victims and survivors watching your why this work is done. Why we are humbled to witness your courage and resilience. I want to thank Ambassador Richman, his team for the outstanding work on this Now two decades of trafficking persons reports, even in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, has been excellent work. I want to think adviser to President Trump for being here as well. She has been a major catalyst for putting the fight against human trafficking, front center in the Trump administration’s foreign policy and our domestic agenda. Also pleased to welcome members of Congress, Smith is here. Ambassadors represents from around the globe have tuned in to show your support for what it is we’re doing here. It’s, Ah privilege this afternoon to honor those leading the fight against human trafficking and are 2020 tip report heroes. I want to start off with the story of a young American boy who I’ll call 10. When Ted was 10 his mother began dating a new man who seemed perfect. After a few months, however, it became clear he was using Ted’s mother to get closer to Ted. He threatened to his mom drugged and abused Ted and force him to have sex with others for his own profit. Had only reported this abuse after a failed suicide attempt Several years later, I share this sad tale to emphasize the human trafficking, and that includes forced labor and sex trafficking happens all around us. Even here in America, they’re 25 million adults and Children suffering from labor and sex trafficking worldwide, that desecration of the inherent value and immeasurable worth of human beings for each of us created in the image of God makes human trafficking a truly wicked act. The United States, throughout our history, have stood in defence of human rights like no other nation, as a commission on a naval rights will elaborate on its upcoming report, America was founded on a promise promise to uphold unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And the Trump Administration’s worked and human trafficking is an important part of that noble tradition. Last year, President Trump restricted certain types of assistance to the governments of 15 countries that were ranked in Tier three, the lowest possible designation in the 2019 tip report. In January of this year, the president hosted a White House summit on human trafficking. He signed an executive order to combat human traffic online Child exploitation Here in the United States. This administration has insured that nearly half a $1,000,000,000 is dedicated to the global fight against both sex and labor trafficking. Today. Today we continue this good work. I’d like to share just a few highlights from this report, starting with some really good news. 22 countries received upgrade this year 13 of them from sub Saharan Africa maybe received a Tier one rating the best possible. It is the first and only African country to do so since 2012. Congratulations on that good work. I also want to recognize Singapore, the reports other newly ranked tier one country and Bolivia for their progress to increase convictions and identify victims, among other significant improvements. Unfortunately, the report also calls out a group of nations whose state sponsored pattern of forced labour have designated them in the Tier three category. Among them are China, with the Chinese Communist Party and its state owned enterprises, often for citizens toe work in horrendous conditions on belt and road project. Then there’s Cuba. Up to 50,000 Cuban doctors have been forced by the Castro regime into human trafficking situations in more than 60 countries around the globe. They’re the regime’s number one source of income. And in Central Asia, sub governments have a long standing history of compelling people to work in the cotton industry and other sectors. Uzbekis Stan’s significant efforts to address this are setting a new standard for others in the region. We take government sponsored trafficking very seriously. It’s a perverse of any governments reason for existence to protect rights, not crush them. The United States will not stand by as any government policy or pattern of human trafficking subjects its own citizens. To this kind of oppression, we will work Tirlea in the United States to free those who are still in slight. We will help restore the lives of those who have been freed, and we will punish their tormentors. And now it’s my honor to have joining us for the fourth year in a row to honor some of those doing this heroic work. It is a truly passionate advocate for the vulnerable adviser to the president. Miss Ivanka Trump. Ivanka, thank you for being here. Thank you, Mr Secretary, Your leadership at the State Department has significantly significantly advanced the fight against human trafficking in all of its grotesque and an evil forms. We thank you for your great work, and we’re also incredibly grateful. Teoh. Ambassador Richman for being here with us today. Your commitment is unwavering, and we feel fortunate to have you serving in the role in which you are. The US government is efforts across the board to stop this heinous crime is done in partnership, of course, with Congress, and it’s great today. Teoh. Have representative Christmas. Join us, one of the earliest advocates in Congress to really combat this horrendous evil, so thank you for being here today. This year marks a milestone in our fight against trafficking in persons. 20 years ago, the Landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act was signed into law, establishing the office to monitor and combat trafficking in persons within the U. S. Department of State. This past January, the White House convened a historic summit a secretary Pompeo mentioned on human trafficking honoring this 20th anniversary. During the summit, we heard from incredible survivors, including Jessica Hamlet, who I met just this past spring in Atlanta, Georgia. At Wellspring Living. Jessica shared her horrendous experience of being trafficked for sex domestically, beginning at the age of 12 after suffering a childhood of abuse, ultimately losing custody of her own Children and facing serious challenges with drug abuse and addiction. Despite all this, Jessica has recently completed an apprenticeship at Delta Airlines, regained custody of her beautiful daughter, which the president and I was so fortunate to meet at the summit and now works full time in the city of Atlanta. Her resilience, just like that of Ted’s, is truly inspiring. During the summit, President Trump also signed an executive order on combating human trafficking and online child exploitation in the United States. This is critically important, especially now, in a time when so many off our country and the world’s Children are learning digitally. This administration is focused on driving forward the directives put forth in the executive order through an all of government approach. Most recently, we welcomed the first ever White House adviser solely focused on human trafficking issues as established in the president’s executive order. We’re thrilled that the State Department’s own Heather Fisher joins us today. Thank you, Heather, for being here and will be a great addition to the team at the White House. Thank you, Heather. This year we also celebrate the State Department’s 20th annual Trafficking in Persons Report. A secretary Pompeo mentioned, This report serves as a key diplomatic tool for the U. S. To engage foreign governments through its country specific recommendations to end trafficking in persons each year since 2000 for the tip, report has recognized extraordinary heroes who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. The TIP report heroes from around the world and recognized by the US Department of State for their tireless efforts to pursue justice for victims, prosecute traffickers and educate the public about human trafficking trends in their countries and abroad. They’re faced resistance, opposition and often to threats to their own lives. Thes air Truly, truly brave individuals. Since the inception of the tip report Heroes, the State Department has honored 146 incredible men and women from 75 countries. These individuals include leaders from the NGO community, government officials, survivors of human trafficking lawmakers, doctors, religious leader, civilians and even more who have committed themselves to ending modern day slavery this year were honored to acknowledge the work of 10 heroes from nine countries, including prosecutors, social workers and victims, service providers, advocates, nonprofit leaders and a law enforcement officer amongst others. Although we wish we could celebrate these incredible champions in D. C, as we typically do during the release of the tip report, we’re excited to be able to recognize the Tipper Hort port heroes in a virtual capacity to each of these years here as we thank you. Your lives are testaments to the fact that one person has the power to bring hope to survivors around the world and ensure traffickers are held accountable. Without further ado, I’d like to turn it over to investor Richmond to announce this year’s tip report here. US. Thank you bastard. Thank you, Secretary by Trump. Grateful to both of you for your leadership on this issue. It’s now my pleasure to join the secretary an adviser Trump, as we recognize this year’s trafficking in persons report heroes. The first karma Rigzin in recognition of her extraordinary leadership in pioneering Bhutan’s victim centered, specialized national police unit on women and Children that led to the first ever criminal human trafficking case and her pivotal role in significantly increasing anti trafficking efforts across all departments of the government Ari Valera and not a Lino Coria, in recognition of their outstanding leadership in combating forced labor and their tremendous diligence throughout. An investigation of Kabul varies first, successful forced labor prosecution despite extraordinary challenges and personal threats. Radha Shakur of Egypt, in recognition of her exceptional efforts to empower human trafficking survivors and embody a survivor informed approach in her programs and services and her unparalleled commitment to fighting to ensure victims of trafficking are not wrongfully charged. Patricia Ho in Hong Kong in recognition of her dynamic leadership in defending the rights of human trafficking victims and marginalized groups by challenging government policies and laws, and her relentless work to promote the better treatment of victims through elevation of survivor voices and a trauma informed approach. Nina Bobble Eva in recognition of her enormous achievement to build the country’s first human trafficking shelter that set the standard across the region and her impressive ability to navigate bureaucracy and to build networks and strengthen communities to combat trafficking in persons. Sophie O. T. And A. In recognition of her leadership role in the development of victim assistance, Infrastructure Resource is and practices in Kenya to ensure human trafficking survivors received the best possible care and her unwavering efforts to raise awareness of human trafficking in local communities. La Asthma Sabina, in recognition of her critical role, is the driving force behind mafias, improved anti trafficking response and leadership in many international projects, as well as her impressive ability to expand the country’s partnerships and build networks to prevent human trafficking in Lafayette Maxwell motto, wary in recognition of his tireless commitment to improving Malawi’s anti trafficking response through his advocacy efforts and by leveraging relationships with government agencies and his selfless acts in serving as a reliable ally of anti trafficking victims and their family. Ali Strat Tova of Moldova, in recognition of her unwavering commitment to advancing women’s rights and assisting victims of human trafficking, and her relentless resolve to achieve positive outcomes for survivors in an exceptionally challenging environment that carries constant personal risk. It’s now my great honor to direct your attention to Miss Sophie Attend a survivor. Leadership in the anti trafficking movement is a priority of the United States government as a survivor, leader, Miss O. T. And a selection to be a hero, and this year speaker reflects that priority. So Tienda is a champion for survivors of human trafficking. She’s assisted more than 400 victims of human trafficking, and her leadership over the past 10 years has been integral to the development of Kenya’s victim assistance infrastructure were honored to have the opportunity to hear from this 10 day as she speaks on behalf of this year’s tip report. Heroes fast I would like to thank Secretary of State Miss Up uncle on the stuff at the US Department of State for this recognition. I would also like to commend my fellow 2020 people report hearing. Looking at the body of work that we’ve done other group from prosecuting human trafficking cases to advocating for stronger victim protections for raising public consciousness of the crime is a reminder that we all have the ability to change the world in our own small but powerful. It took 15 years from when I experienced trafficking personally toe when I couldn’t properly defined unnamed the crime you want. Trafficking is a relatively new town for something real. Exploitation have been with humanity since there was a humanity, whether we call it slavery servitude that wanted traffic matter. Listen to its victims. However, I know being able to live the crime is a party on for someone like me. It gave me the language and truth to not only complete my healing process but also begin to fight for other survivors like me, who I need help. This award is in recognition of the work that have done with awareness against human trafficking, which is an organization in Kenya that focuses exclusively on human trafficking. Their work that press which organizations do to eradicate human trafficking should not be underestimated. It is in grassroot organizations that receive passion innovation on people like my colleague that had who go above and beyond to ensure that survivors of trafficking received the best care. My fast made a case. We’ve had assisting a group of Kenyan women who has trended Libya during the civil war after having been subjected to human trafficking there, with most of them being held in the list exhibited, it was T planning Cup, but we were able to bring most of them back home with the support of different organizations. One of those women, whom I had not spoke into since 2015 recently contacted me that successfully said, have a small business, had a full time job and those were writing for herself and have 100. Unfortunately, due to covet 19 she lost her job on her business, so Hot is now providing support for half, just as she had done after leaving her trafficking situation, she has personified resilience and is well on her way to rebuilding her business. On happening has story proves that it is possible to recover under Sucks restored with lost and in many cases, it doesn’t take a lot. Examples are the names that we need to be proactive and with the land to protect and assist those at risk of human trafficking, as well as some I waas who are particularly affected by the pandemic. The 2020 tip report heroes recognize today have also possibly witnessed numerous example. Where I live in help went a long way in protecting survivors of trafficking. We all have a responsibility toe advocate for more equal well that doesn’t allow slavery of any kind. This includes actions like supporting local grassroots organizations that are open and offended but play a key role in solving trafficking. Survivor 11 shredding that the products we buy are not produced with forced labor or other forms of exploitation. On this day, I’m especially grateful from the many heroes like my grandmother, Leslie. The courtroom activity lives on clue me, my family and friends who provided support on me again as Maya Angelou Safe, I come as one, but this time Dustin told us the work that we have done so far by a vote of teamwork, partnerships and support. When we have each person being on that today, we call on everyone to dream and work for a while. Field human trafficking. Thank you, Miss O. T and A and all of our tip report heroes, We honor you. We’ve accomplished so much in the last 20 years. We think about it. 20 years ago, we did not have the Trafficking Victims Protection Act that created the trafficking in persons office at the State Department. And it mandated that stopping traffickers and caring for victims should be prioritized in the United States foreign policy The passage of the T v p A. At the end of the year 2000 established the annual Trafficking in persons report, which has become a critical tool of diplomacy in action. 20 years ago, we did not have a United Nations Protocol against trafficking in persons. In a few weeks after the United States passed the T v p. A, the U. N. Protocol against Trafficking persons was adopted in 80 countries signed on right away. In the last 20 years, that number has more than doubled in now, 177 countries have joined as parties to the protocol in this protocol now stands is one of most widely adopted international legal instruments. Since 2000 we’ve had 100 and 54 countries passed comprehensive anti trafficking legislation. Our engagement on this has made a difference. This report and the United States have made a positive difference. I also want to thank the team at the trafficking in Persons office. The office is comprised of deeply devoted individuals who are working with governments, an NGO, those around the world toward our common cause of freedom. I wish they could all be here in the room today to be celebrated for their professionalism and their unending zeal. Secretary Pompeo has made it clear that we are one team and the department’s talent matters. It’s an honor to serve alongside the tip off his team as they work to improve the delivery systems of justice and protection that make the promises of laws and protocols a reality for the people they were intended to protect. I also want to recognize the team’s family members who support and encourage and sometimes endure are difficult work. We do not do this work alone, and we’re grateful to them. The production of this report is always a heavy lift, but this year the team has produced a fantastic report under circumstances that were difficult to have been foreseen even at mid stay at home orders in so many parts of the globe. Shut down our team at the State Department, pressed on to produce this report in the department. Put this report out on time without any delays in the midst of a global pandemic, and that itself serves to show the priority of this administration and the secretary has placed on this issue. The call of the 20th anniversary is clear. We must commit ourselves to our goal of freedom. What traffickers are doing is an affront to the dignity of every human life. And we can stop traffickers, protect victims and work to prevent this crime in our work generates the tangible hope that victims need as we try and care for them. Thank you for joining us today. Please download the 2020 tip report and use it as a tool in your advocacy towards our common mission. And please know that I and our colleagues that the trafficking of Persons Office are available to you. We want to be a resource and we want to learn from your experiences. So please reach out connect Because we know we’re all in this together. Thank you.