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UN Human Rights Council 14th Session – Trafficking in Persons Resolution
June 17, 2010

Ambassador Eileen Donahoe – archive photo

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe


UN Human Rights Council 14th Session

Geneva, June 17, 2010

Thank you, Mr. President.

Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; and slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” The United States deplores the subjection of human beings to modern forms of slavery in the 21st Century.

Human trafficking is both a human rights and a law enforcement issue. Trafficking in persons covers acts that violate human rights and acts that impair the enjoyment of them. Slavery is a gross violation of human rights. Those who subject others to slavery violate human rights. Governments and government officials violate human rights when they engage in or are complicit in trafficking. Governments and their officials also violate human rights when they condone or acquiesce in trafficking or fail to live up to their due diligence responsibilities to prevent or investigate trafficking or punish traffickers. Business owners, middle persons, and others who traffic in human beings commit slavery or impair the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by their victims: they are enemies of human dignity and worth.

The United States is committed to addressing the demand for commercial sex, cheap goods, and exploitable labor that traffickers meet through coercion. Businesses, consumers, and governments can help to eliminate involuntary servitude in the 21st Century by insisting on supply chains and procurement processes that are free of modern forms of slavery.

In view of the critical importance of this issue, we are pleased to co-sponsor this resolution – notably, in the same week the United States published our 10th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report. We thank Germany and the Philippines for their leadership in bringing this issue to the forefront of the Council’s attention.

Thank you, Mr. President.