In our politically divided nation, there’s one American value we can all agree on: everyone deserves to be free. On June 27, the State Department released the 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which ranks 187 countries on their efforts to combat human trafficking, including the U.S. Our government uses the TIP report to influence countries to increase and sustain their efforts fighting human trafficking and slavery.
The TIP report sheds light on the hidden crime of modern-day slavery — a crime that holds more than 27 million men, women, and children in bondage. 2016 was a significant step forward in the fight against slavery as Congress enacted the End Modern Slavery Initiative, which utilizes government funds and private philanthropic contributions. The TIP Report provides data to use the money most effectively.
What does this mean for us as we just celebrated our country’s freedom? We can encourage our Idaho congressional delegation to recommit to protecting the integrity of the TIP Report and the U.S. foreign aid programs that help rescue slaves and put traffickers behind bars.
That all may be free.
Janell McGill and Kim Peake, Idaho Coalition for Justice