Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fight Against Human Trafficking Loses Ground in 11 Nations

By Victoria Pelham

The international fight against human trafficking, from abuses of migrant workers to organized prostitution networks, lost ground in the past year, the U.S. State Department reported.

The number of countries failing to comply with international standards to prevent human trafficking almost doubled to 23, according to U.S. State Department’s 2011 Trafficking in Persons report released today.

“The problem of modern trafficking may be entrenched, and it may seem like there is no end in sight,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement accompanying the report. “But if we act on the laws that have been passed and the commitments that have been made, it is solvable.”

As many as 27 million men, women, and children are “living in a state of modern slavery,” she said.

Since many countries have adopted anti-trafficking laws, the issue increasingly is one of enforcement, Clinton said at a State Department ceremony honoring 10 “heroes” in the fight against such abuses. Clinton, while citing advances in countries such as Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates, said that the overall number of prosecutions worldwide “has remained relatively static.” 

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