Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
Friday, June 9, 2017
as Delivered by Jason Mack
Thank you. We thank the Special Rapporteur for her visit to the United States, and we take note, with appreciation, of her findings and recommendations.
The United States remains committed to addressing all forms of trafficking, including for the purpose of labor exploitation, and to providing protection and assistance to all victims of human trafficking. The Special Rapporteur maintains in her recommendations that the United States should increase investigations and prosecutions on labor trafficking cases occurring in different sectors. We, like many countries in the world, strive to increase these numbers. The U.S. Department of Justice launched the Labor Trafficking Initiative to strengthen efforts through training, enhanced intelligence models, and strategic outreach in order to improve identification of labor trafficking cases. Additionally, the Department of Labor (DOL) working closely with the Department of Justice, enhanced its protocols for detection and referral of potential labor trafficking cases.
U.S. programs address human trafficking, domestically and internationally, and assist both sex and labor trafficking survivors. Many grant beneficiaries are survivors of labor exploitation. The Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Labor maintain hotlines to identify and assist victims and bring their perpetrators to justice. The Department of Labor plays an important role in combatting trafficking through civil enforcement of federal labor laws. The Department of Labor raises awareness about trafficking in persons around the world and promotes efforts to combat it in a coordinated manner through its List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor, List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor, Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, Sweat & Toil App, and Toolkit on Reducing Child Labor and Forced Labor for Responsible Businesses. Its Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking manages grant projects to combat trafficking globally.
The federal government also provides a number of anti-trafficking training programs and supports anti-trafficking taskforces at the federal, state, and local levels, which the Special Rapporteur refers to in her report.
I would like to call your attention to the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, which is comprised of eleven survivors of human trafficking with a range of backgrounds and experiences. The Council provides advice and recommendations to the federal government on anti-trafficking policy and programs. It released its first annual report last October with recommendations for further action in the areas of rule of law, public awareness, victim services, labor laws, and grant-making.
The Special Rapporteur’s report mentions U.S. domestic legislation, monitoring and reporting mechanisms, coordination among U.S. government agencies, and U.S. government cooperation with the private sector that have led to good results. Ms. Giammarinaro, in your view, are there particular U.S. accomplishments that can serve as models for other member states to strengthen their anti-trafficking efforts?
Thank you very much.