WASHINGTON – Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, issued the following statement on the U.S. State Department’s release of the 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report:
“The trafficking of any persons will not be tolerated by the United States and for that matter must not be tolerated by the international community. The unfortunate fact is that innocent victims everyday who are seeking a better life for themselves and their loved one’s are deceived into thinking they will be offered a better life by their captors, but instead exploited for profit. This is a clear violation of ones human rights and freedoms.
“I applaud the State Department’s efforts in continuing to raise awareness on such a critical issue facing not only the United States but the international community. It is imperative that we continue to raise awareness in hopes of preventing trafficking of persons from taking place. My heart breaks for those innocent victims who often suffer physical abuse, rape or even death at the hands of their captors’. This kind of treatment is inhumane and must be stopped.”
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 requires that the State Department report annually to Congress the status of foreign governments’ efforts to combat the trafficking of human persons. The report is intended to raise awareness globally of this issue in hopes that the international community will take the necessary actions possible to counter all forms of human trafficking. The report rates 164 countries in all and covers the period from April 2006 to March 2007. For more information, please visit www.state.gov