The President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons issued a joint statement of commitment to action on February 3rd, 2010:
Trafficking in persons violates the most basic of human rights. It degrades our common humanity and is intolerable in any society. Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. To combat this heinous crime, we recognize and build on the progress of the past ten years since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Palermo Protocol.
As members of the President’s Interagency Task Force, we commit to a balanced approach in the prevention of human trafficking, the protection of victims and the prosecution of their traffickers. We pledge to uphold a system that provides for all victims, whether they have lost their freedom through sex trafficking or labor trafficking, and regardless of age, gender or immigration status. We will continue vigorously to investigate and prosecute traffickers and work toward dismantling the criminal enterprises that perpetuate human trafficking.
We will work tirelessly to overcome the barriers to victim identification and assistance, continuing a victim-centered approach and focusing on vulnerable populations at greatest risk.
We will collaborate with international, federal, state, and local counterparts, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations and advocates, recognizing that the key to ending this crime is rooted in strong and effective partnerships.
As the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, we will work with our partners across borders and oceans on behalf of the victims of trafficking to combat this violation of basic human rights.
For the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons:
THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
I am excited to see the number and range of agencies represented in this statement, particularly agencies such as the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture, which have an important role in fighting trafficking but whose role may not be as obvious as State's or Justice's. I am also pleased that the statement pledged a commitment to a victim-centered approach to anti-trafficking work, including collaboration with non-governmental actors.
At the same time, a commitment to action cannot replace actual and sustained action. Increased, coordinated, and strategic interagency anti-trafficking work within the government combined with collaboration with survivors, advocates, NGOs, and the private sector is a vital part of working to end slavery. The Task Force can take a leading role in this effort, so long as its commitment translates into the promised action.