Report: 25M people trafficked over past year

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during the 2022 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report launch ceremony at the State Department, Tuesday, July 19, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Pool)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during the 2022 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report launch ceremony at the State Department, Tuesday, July 19, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Pool)

OAN NEWSROOM
UPDATED 1:30 PM PT – Thursday, July 21, 2022

A new State Department report revealed just how insidious human trafficking has become in the US. While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said over 25 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide. This year’s report contained a massive amount of human trafficking stories from over 188 countries, including the United States.

“The scale of this problem is vast,” Blinken said. “There are nearly 25 million people currently victims of trafficking. The United States is committed to fighting it because trafficking destabilizes societies, it undermines economies, it harms workers, it enriches those who exploit them, it undercuts legitimate business and most fundamentally because it is so profoundly wrong.”

Additionally, 18 countries, including Russia and Vietnam, were placed on a blacklist for allegedly having non-existent or weak policies to combat traffickers. The report also noted that more than 21 countries have increased their efforts to address the global issue.

“Twenty-one countries were upgraded a tier because those governments made significant increasing efforts to combat trafficking at home as well as for their citizens abroad,” he stated. “Eighteen countries were downgraded a tier indicating that they either didn’t make significant increasing efforts to combat trafficking or worse, that their governments have a state-sponsored policy or pattern of trafficking.”

Meanwhile, anti-trafficking officials emphasized the need to engage with survivors early in an effort to draw more attention to the issue.

“It is imperative that we engage survivors early and often,” voiced Dr. Kari Johnstone. “As we begin to see growing interest of our bilateral and multilateral partners to responsibly engage survivors, we are more hopeful than ever that elevated survivor voices will strengthen our anti-trafficking efforts around the globe. When governments and civil society prioritize partnerships with survivors, meaningful engagements can flourish and lead to better outcomes.”

In the meantime, officials are expected to place sanctions on countries which were blacklisted in this year’s report.

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