Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
January 6, 2010
Happy New Year! I am energized and hopeful about the good work we can do together in this important anniversary year. 2010 will mark the 10th year since the promulgation of the United Nation’s Palermo Protocol and the signing of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) by President Clinton. In that time, we have made measured progress and forged strong partnerships to combat trafficking in persons both abroad and here in the United States. I look forward to our continued partnership to find new ways, new resources, and new partners to fight modern slavery.
To kick-off the New Year, President Barack Obama announced January 2010 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. Under President Obama’s leadership and through greater cooperation we can all work together to eradicate modern slavery from every community, culture, and country.
As we know, human trafficking is such a multi-faceted issue that it can only be approached through strong partnerships. Indeed, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out against human trafficking on December 2, 2009, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, stating, “Modern slavery is a global phenomenon and must be addressed with global partnerships between governments, non-governmental organizations, and civil society. Through new partnerships, the United States and the international community will work to rescue and serve survivors, bring traffickers to justice, and create a world where every person has the freedom and opportunity to fulfill his or her God-given potential.” I echo the Secretary’s sentiments and look forward to working with you all to strengthen current partnerships and to bring new partners into our efforts this year.
In addition, our anti- trafficking partners on Capitol Hill have taken action to raise public awareness. The U.S. Congress is working to establish January as National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month, with the Senate having already taken action under the leadership of Senator Dianne Feinstein. Members of the House of Representatives have a similar measure under consideration.
Finally, G/TIP’s International Programs section received a record number of applications for anti-trafficking grants focused on prevention, protection, and prosecution – over 500! Many of the applicants have never before submitted a proposal and we are excited at the prospect of forging new partnerships through this process. The entire G/TIP team would like to thank every organization for their thoughtful submissions. Following the technical, competitive review of Statements of Interest, selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals for a final competitive review.
Thank you for your tireless work. There is no greater reward than restoring and preserving liberty and I look forward to continuing to support and engage in this work with you. Again, Happy New Year!
s/Ambassador Luis CdeBaca