Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
Human trafficking erodes the rule of law, the safety of our communities, the security of our borders, and the strength of our economy. This crime transcends borders and necessitates a global coalition to confront it – one that cuts across government, business, civil society and is founded in partnership between them all.
To that end, I convened today the Administration’s first meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Agencies from across the government shared their initiatives to address this crime, with a special focus on what’s new in those efforts, including through implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.
In the year ahead, the State Department affirms our dedication to:
- Revitalizing collaboration with two of our most important partners, Canada and Mexico, through the Trilateral Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, to promote legal pathways for protection and opportunity that encourage orderly, safe, and humane migration, in ways that do not create or exacerbate vulnerabilities among migrants that traffickers can exploit,
- Providing funding for projects around the world that support those made increasingly vulnerable to human trafficking because of the COVID-19 pandemic,
- Incorporating trauma-informed and survivor-centered approaches into our anti-trafficking work, including by launching publicly available online training developed in partnership with subject matter experts with lived experience,
- Better integrating equity-based approaches in our work, including incorporating findings from the Human Trafficking Expert Consultant Network’s project about the intersection of institutional racism with human trafficking,
- Continuing to call out governments of countries that themselves engage in human trafficking – including Cuba, North Korea, Russia, and the People’s Republic of China.
We remain deeply committed to combating human trafficking and recognize that we all have a role to play – as individuals and a society, in coordination across the whole-of-government.
I also presented the 2021 Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons to fierce and tireless advocates in this battle: Tanya Gould, Survivor Leader and Expert, for her commitment to the fight against human trafficking and for raising national awareness of the issue, and to the Thai Community Development Center, an NGO based in Los Angeles, California, that has provided critical direct services to survivors of human trafficking for more than 25 years. Their leadership inspires us all.