Human trafficking is one of the most tragic human rights issues of our time. It splinters families, distorts global markets, undermines the rule of law, and spurs other transnational criminal activity. It threatens public safety and national security.
But worst of all, the crime robs human beings of their freedom and their dignity. That’s why we must pursue an end to the scourge of human trafficking.
Today we take another key step towards that goal. The 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report highlights the successes achieved and the remaining challenges before us on this important global issue.
In particular, the introduction of this year’s Report focuses on the responsibility of governments to criminalize human trafficking and hold offenders accountable. To that end, this Report is intended to assist governments in identifying threats so law enforcement agencies around the world can respond effectively and gain insight into where human trafficking remains most severe. The Report will also equip local and sub-national law enforcement agencies to better assist in efforts to target and prosecute those who commit these terrible crimes.
Because human trafficking is global in scope, international partners are essential to success. That’s why the State Department will continue to establish positive partnerships with governments, civil society, law enforcement groups, and survivors to provide help for those who need our support.
The United States is a leader in the fight against human trafficking. We seek justice for victims and accountability for offenders. This Report is instrumental to our strategy to end human trafficking. I am proud of the work and dedication of the Department towards that end, and remain committed to the elimination of human trafficking here and abroad.
Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State