tv U.S. Downgrades China in Human Trafficking Report CSPAN June 29, 2017 1:40pm-2:05pm EDT
adams who helped change the world. >> for our complete schedule, go to cspan.org. still to come here on cspan 3, sarah sanders and treasury secretary will be taking questions at the white house press briefing. that will be at 2:00 p.m. eastern. we'll have it live here on cspan 3. and then president trump and vice president pence are marking energy week with remarks at the department of energy. we'll be there live at 3:15 eastern. earlier this week, the state department released the 17th annual human trafficking report. secretary of state rex tillerson and first daughter and assistant to the president, ivanka, honored some advocates on tuesday.
>> good morning. welcome to the department of state. we have quite the full room. my name is susan and i am the ambassador-at-large for the office to monitor trafficking of persons. thank you all for joining us today for the release of the 17th annual tracking in persons report. i was looking for a copy to hold up because i'm a prosecutor and i like my props, but a quick word about our program. first, or host, secretary of state tillerson will share keynote remarks with us following additional remarks by ivanka trump, we will honor our eight wonderful heroes and hear brief remarks from one of them. after the event concludes, i'll invite you to pick up your own copy of the report. it is an honor to be here this morning with secretary tillerson and miss trump and i thank you
both. and now, ladies and gentlemen, secretary of state, rex tillerson. >> thank you so much and welcome to all of you to the stapt department for this important event and particularly i'm honored to welcome members of congress and in particular, i want to highlight the leadership of chairman corker, who's with us from the senate foreign relations committee. this morning. thank you. i think this really illustrates the dedication to combatting human trafficking and the commitment of our country that we have this joint effort underway and i want to thank ambassador coppage for her 1 16-year career devoted to this issue.
i also know she doesn't do this alone and we're grateful to her staff and the many, many colleagues at our embassies and consulate office who is both help with preparation of this report, but i think more importantly, they encourage governments to progress their efforts to combat human traff trafficking. i also want to welcome representatives from the foreign diplomatic core. finally, imt to recognize the survivors of human trafficking as well as representatives of the many ngos and international organizations who are with us here today and thank you for being here for this roll outof this report. i think before i get some of my prepared remark, since this was my first one of these to review and sign off on and make a report, i thought it useful to
go back and read the original reason why we do this. this is the victims of trafficking and violence protection act of 2000. that's really where this all began. and i think it is useful to remind us why we're here this morpg. why we're gatheringed in this room and what, what the united states government and the people of the united states are really trying to express. in this area. and i think if you go back to the preamble to this act, i think it really sums it up well. it says the purpose is to combat traffic ng persons the contemporary manifestations of slavery to ensure just and effective punishment of traffickers and to protect the vick the times. and then it want to read one more line. as the 21st century begins, the degrading institution of slavery continues throughout the world. that is why we are here this morning.
as that goes on to require that the state department require this annual report to make an assessment of how governments around the world are taking action to address this. and i think it's really through actions with this act motivated and what the state department is doing as it meets this obligation is we're identifying first where the problems are, how do the problems manifest themselves because they continue to evolve and take on new characteristics. how do we then work with government to cause them to put in place laws that allow them to then pursue those who participate. in these various forms of human trafficking. how do we encourage governments to enforce those laws. and actually begin to hold people account bable and lastly, how do we create the conditions where the victims or potential victims of human trafficking are able to come forward. in a nonthreatening way.
and help us understand how this is occurring. it's really the results of what we do that matter. the report is an important tool to help us understand and help us help other governments understand, but the end of it, the it's the individual. it's the victim. and our ability to prevent others from being victimized. human trafficking is as old as human kind. regrettab regrettably, it's been with us for centuries and centuries, but in the expression of this act as i read that one line to you, it is our hope that the 21st century will be the last century of human trafficking and that's what we are all committed to. regrettably -- [ applause ] regrettab regrettably, our challenge is enormous. today, globally, it's estimated that there are 20 million victims of human trafficking.
so clearly, we have a lot of work to do. and governments around the world have a will the of work to do. so let me now make a few comments on the report. and why it's so important. b obviously, the consequences of our failure to act in this in this area like so many others around the world, it breeds corruption. in the civil society. transnational criminal networks also whether they be drug dealer, money launderers or document forgers, are partly enabled by human trafficking activities as well. when state actors are nonstate actors use human trafficking, it can become a threat to our national security. north korea for instance depends on forced labor to generate illicit sources of revenue.
an estimated 50 to 80,000 north korean citizens are working overseas as forced labors, primarily in russia and china. many working 20 hours a day, their pay does not come to them directly. it goes to the government of korea. which confiscates most of that, obviously. the north korean regime receives hundreds of millions of dollars per yur from the fruits of forced labor. responsible nations simply cannot allow this to go on and we continue to call on any nation that is hosting workers from north korea in a forced labor arrangement to send those people home. responsible nations also take further action. china was downgraded to tier three status in this year's report pause it has not taken serious steps to end its own complicity in trafficking, including forced labors from north korea that are located in chip. china. american consumers and businesses must also recognize they may have an unwitting connection to human trafficking.
supply chains creating many products that americans enjoy may be utilizing forced labor. the state department does engage with businesses to alert them to these situations. so that they can take actions on their own to ensure they are not in any way comply sit. most tragically, it preys on o the most vulnerable. young children. boys and girls. separating them from their families often to be exploited, forced into prostitution or sex slavery. the state department's 2017 trafficking and persons report exposes human trafficking networks and holds their operators and accomplice is accous account bable. the focus of this year's report is government's responsibilities under the protocal to criminalize human trafficking in all its forms and to prosecute offenders. we urge the 17 countries not a party to the international protocall to prevent, suppress
to reconsider their position and to join the other countries who have made that commitment. the 2017 tip report also emphasizeses forward tougher anti-corruption laws and enforce them so that traffickers do not get a free pass for those who choose to turn a blind eye. importantly, nations must educate law enforcement partners on how to identify and respond to those who dishonorably wear the law enforcement uniform or military uniform by allowing trafficking to flourish. the most devastating examples are police officers and those who we rely upon to protect us that they become complicit through bribery by actually working in brothels themselves or obstructing investigations for their own profit. complicity and corruption allows human trafficking from law enforcement officials must end. we know shutting down these
networks is challenging, but these challenges cannot serve as an excuse for inaction. the 2017 t.i.p. report also recognizes those governments making progress. we want to give them credit for what they are doing. last year governments reported more than 9,000 convictions of human trafficking crimes worldwide up from past years. just to mention a few highlights, last july the president of afghanistan ordered an investigation into institutionalized sexual abuse of children by police officers including punishment for perpetrators. in january a new law was enacting criminalizing a practice that exploits boys for social and sexual entertainment. the government continues to investigate, prosecute and convict traffickers including complicit government officials. in the ukraine, a country that has been on the watch list for years, the officer of the prosecutor general issued
directives to improve investigations of trafficking and increased efforts to root out complicity including convictions of police officers. a teacher at a government-run school -- a government-run boarding school for orphans has been arrested for trying to sell a child. and officials are now notice that complicity and trafficking will be met with strict punishment. in the philippines increased efforts to combat trafficking had led to the investigation of more than 500 trafficking cases and the arrest of 272 suspects, an 80% increase from 2015. given the scale of the problem though all of these countries and many more have much to do. but it is important to note their progress and encourage their continued commitment. as with other forms of illicit crime, human trafficking is becoming more nuanced and more difficult to identify. much of these activities are going underground and they're going online.
the state department is committed to continuing to develop with other u.s. agencies as well as our partners abroad follow these activities wherever they go and to train law enforcement to help them improve their technologies to investigate and prosecute these crimes. to that end, i am pleased to highlight a state department initiative announced earlier this year. we'll increase funding for prosecution protection and prevention efforts to reduce the occurrence of modern slavery wherever it is most prevalent. the program is the result of the important support of congress, especially from chairman corker and other leaders committed to bringing more people out from under what is a crime against basic human rights. the program to end modern slavery will fund transformational programs but also set about to raise commitments of $1.5 billion in support from other governments
and private donors while developing the capacity of foreign governments and civil society to work to end modern slavery in their own countries. as we reflect on this year's report and the state of human trafficking the world over, we recognize those dedicated individuals who've committed their lives and in some cases put their lives at risk in pursuit of ending modern slavery. for many reasons theirs is the first face of hope they see after weeks or even years of fear and pain. the 2017 t.i.p. report heroes will be recognized formally in just a few minutes, but i want to thank them and express my own admiration for their courage, leadership, sacrifice and devotion to ending human
trafficking. [ applause ] as we honor these heroes, we remember that everyone, everyone has a role to play, governments, ngos, the private sector, survivors and most of all the american people. all must continue to work together to make human trafficking end in the 21st century. and now please join me in welcoming an advocate for ending human trafficking and someone who's doing a great deal to raise the profile of this issue, advisor to the president of the united states, ms. ivanka trump. [ applause ] >> thank you, secretary tillerson for the warm welcome and for representing the united states with such incredible distinction. it is an honor to join you, ambassador coppedge and the
entire team here today who work tirelessly to work on the ugly stain that is human trafficking. we are grateful for your dedication. also here with us is senator corker. senator, i want to thank you for your unwavering commitment to this critical issue. [ applause ] it is an honor to be here today at the release of this year's trafficking in persons report and to recognize this year's heroes. their remarkable work inspires action. thank you for affording us the opportunity to learn from your impressive examples. human trafficking is a pervasive human rights issue affecting millions no matter their gender, age or nationality. it is often a profoundly secret crime. one of the greatest challenges is to merely identify those trapped in modern slavery.
even conservative estimates conclude that some 20 million people around the world including right here in the united states are trapped in human trafficking situations, terrible circumstances of exploitation including so many young girls and boys who are victims of unthinkable tragedy of child sex trafficking. the stories of those we honor today demonstrate why combatting this crime here in the united states as well as around the globe is in both our moral and our strategic interests. as secretary tillerson noted earlier, ending human trafficking is a major foreign policy priority for the trump administration. over the past several months the white house has hosted roundtables and listening sessions with victims, with ngos, members of congress and others to determine steps we can take to better execute a strategy to finally end human
trafficking. the president signed an executive order designed to strengthen the enforcement of federal law with regards to transnational criminal organizations including traffickers. further, he has taken steps to ensure that the department of homeland security personnel are properly trained to combat child trafficking at points of entry into the united states. this year's report emphasizes the responsibility all governments have to prosecute human traffickers. it also provides an opportunity for countries to see how others are fighting human trafficking and to adopt the most effective strategies and tactics while renewing their own resolve in this struggle. on a personal level, as a mother this is much more than a policy priority. it is a clarion call to action in defense of the vulnerable, the abused and the exploited. last month while in rome i had
an opportunity to talk firsthand with human trafficking survivors. they told me their harrowing stories, how they were trapped in this ugly dark web, how they survived, how they escaped and how they are very slowly reconstructing their lives. here in the united states we have our own advisory council on human trafficking comprised exclusively of survivors. we cannot meaningfully address this pervasive issue without the brave voice of survivors at the table. they can help us understand what they experienced and they will play a leading role in solving this pressing crisis. these survivors are not only victims, they are heroes. so are the courageous crusaders who have committed themselves to fight human trafficking wherever it exists. as part of the 2017 t.i.p. report, the state department recognizes individuals who have been tireless in their efforts
to combat human trafficking. today, we honor a police officer whose efforts led to the identification of 350 children forced into labor, a union leader who protects workers in the fishing industry, a judge who played a critical role in drafting her country's first anti-trafficking legislation, a journalist who shines the light on forced labor, a faith leader who works to protect vulnerable migrants, a sociologist whose ground breaking research considers the structural challenges affecting vulnerable populations, an advocate who founded an ngo to care for a child sex trafficking victims and a survivor, the first in her country to win civil damages in a sex trafficking case. each of these heroes is a source of inspiration. they all have different
backgrounds but are united in the shared cause. we celebrate and we stand with each of you. [ applause ] so as we mark the release of this year's report, let us remember the victims saved from the unimaginable horrors of human trafficking, let us recommit ourselves to finding those still in the shadows of exploitation and let us celebrate the heroes who continue to shine a light on the darkness of human trafficking. now please join me in welcoming the great ambassador susan coppeledge as she reads the criation citations, thank you for your incredible work.
>> thank you, mrs. trump, for those heartfelt words. we look forward to continuing our relationship with the white house. i would like to ask each t.i.p. report hero to stand up when i call out his or her name and country and join us to receive their award. first from argentina, ali alika keenan. [ applause ] in recognition of her extraordinary courage in pursuing justice against her traffickers, her selfless efforts to assist the government in prosecuting and preventing human trafficking cases, by sharing her experiences and knowledge and her tenacity in advocating for greater protections for vulnerable groups and victims of trafficking in argentina. they wouldn't let me read, they were clapping too loud. thank you.
next from brazil, leonardo sacamoto. [ applause ] in recognition of his unwavering resolve to find and expose instances of forced labor, his commitment to raising awareness among vulnerable communities and within the private sector and his vital role in ensuring progress in government efforts to prevent human trafficking in brazil. [ applause ] and sister from cameroon. [ applause ] in recognition of her unrelenting efforts to combat modern slavery, her ground breaking work in identifying a key migration trend to prevent trafficking of cameroonians in the middle east and dedication
to ensuring survivors have legal support and access to comprehensive re-integration assistance. [ applause ] and from hungary, victoria sebeje. in recognition of her ground breaking academic contributions to reveal the prevalence of child sex trafficking in hungary, her ability to bring together government and civil society organizations to improve victim identification and services and her dedication to increasing awareness and understanding of human trafficking. [ applause ] from morocco, judge ami amina eufuk