U.S. Inclusion in Annual TIP Reports

U.S. involvement in human trafficking cannot be eradicated if it is not first acknowledged and confronted.

The following is the U.S. Department of State's position on Human Trafficking as outlined in the 2009 TIP Report:

"The Department of State is required by law to submit each year to the U.S. Congress a report on foreign governments? efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons...Freeing victims from this form of modern-day slavery is the ultimate goal of this report?and of the U.S. Government?s anti-human trafficking policy.

Human a crime that deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, increases global health risks, fuels growing networks of organized crime, and can sustain levels of poverty and impede development in certain areas...A growing community of nations is making significant efforts to eliminate this atrocious crime...Countries that do not make significant efforts to comply with the minimum standards receive a Tier 3 ranking in this report. Such an assessment could prompt the United States to withhold nonhumanitarian, non-trade-related foreign assistance."

The above statements imply that not only does the U.S. condone and demand the abolishment of human trafficking, but it also suggests that we as a country are above reproach in this matter. Sadly, this is a far cry from truth. The United States promotes human trafficking by functioning as a source, transit, and destination country for trafficking victims. We traffick domestically and we travel abroad to abuse foreign victims.

While it is true that many Americans are educating themselves and actively working to combat human trafficking, we cannot expect to function as successful human rights advocates if we are only partially informed. By excluding ourselves from annual TIP Reports, it seems that the we have turned a blind eye to U.S. involvement in this degenerate global market. This not only allows human trafficking to continue both domestically and internationally, but it also perpetuates an arrogant, we're-better-than-that, not-in-our-backyard type of attitude among many of our own citizens. I do not believe this attitude is born of apathy, but of ignorance of the magnitude of this issue within our own borders.

The U.S. is attempting to combat human trafficking from federal, state, and grassroots levels, yes, and I commend those efforts. However, the U.S. is remiss--we are not administering and upholding the freedom and justice we hold so dear--to consider ourselves above suspicion. I believe that Americans would welcome a greater understanding of U.S. involvement in human trafficking. I believe we would rise to the occasion.

Please join me in signing this petition to include the United States in the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report. U.S. involvement in human trafficking cannot be eradicated if it is not first acknowledged and confronted.