State Department Continues to Make Progress with 2004 Trafficking Report
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Chris Smith (R-Hamilton), the author of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, released the following statement regarding the State Department's 2004 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report that was released today.
The report - now in its fourth year - was mandated by Smith's first trafficking bill, which was signed into law in October 2000 (Public Law 106-386).
"Since its inception in 2001, the State Department's Trafficking in Persons report has become more detailed and thorough, and this year is no exception.
"I'm very pleased that 140 nations - the most ever - were comprehensively profiled in this year's report. This is 16 more countries than were included in last year's publication, and nearly double the number of countries in the first TIP
"Another enhancement included in this year's report is the "Tier 2 Watch List," - which was mandated by my reauthorization bill that became law last year. More than 40 nations - those who are not in compliance with minimal counter-trafficking initiatives but who are nonetheless making great efforts to improve their record on trafficking - are included in this category.
"The Watch List is meant to keep a close eye on those nations with inconsistent counter-trafficking records to help them make forward progress prosecuting traffickers, educating citizens about the dangers of trafficking, and helping victims repair their lives.
"In addition to reporting on a record number of nations, the 2004 report also did an exceptional job of laying out the many manifestations of human trafficking - such as sex tourism and indentured servitude - to better help all nations, including the United States, do more to eliminate this most barbaric of human rights abuses.
"I look forward to continuing to work very closely with Office of Trafficking in Persons Director John Miller and his dedicated staff to make progress in our fight against modern-day human slavery."