Speeches, Remarks & Statements in 2012
Reception with Anti-Trafficking Stakeholders
Remarks by Ambassador Paul D. Wohlers
July 13th, 2012
Good evening... Dobro vecer... Mirëmbrëma …
It is a pleasure to welcome you here tonight to celebrate Macedonia’s sustained efforts to combat human trafficking.
For the past two years, Macedonia has made significant progress in the fight against human trafficking, an accomplishment reflected in Macedonia’s Tier One ranking in the State Department’s 2011 and 2012 Trafficking in Persons Reports. The 2012 Report has just been published, and it recognizes the Macedonian Government’s continued efforts to combat this horrible crime.
This evaluation was made following analysis of areas such as legislation, law enforcement, and rehabilitation of trafficking victims.
I congratulate you on this success. This Tier One ranking reflects strong cooperation between the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, alongside NGOs such as La Strada and Happy Childhood. For example, through a partnership between the Government of Macedonia and La Strada, a caring shelter provides assistance for domestic victims of human trafficking.
Modern day slavery will not be eliminated without robust partnerships between government agencies, the NGO community, and a society that refuses to tolerate trafficking.
I hope that the Government of Macedonia will continue to strengthen domestic and regional partnerships, including NGOs and international organizations, in order to implement the measures needed to prevent trafficking, aggressively prosecute traffickers, and reintegrate and rehabilitate trafficked victims.
The American Embassy is proud of our partnership with all the anti-trafficking stakeholders in Macedonia, who are working to end this terrible crime. We applaud both the government and civil society partners, who are working to raise awareness about this country’s human trafficking problems and to bring key stakeholders together to identify and protect victims, prosecute traffickers, and prevent future crimes.
The fight against human trafficking remains an important priority to the U.S. foreign policy agenda. Human trafficking is a global issue and regrettably is thriving around the world.
As today marks an important step in Macedonia’s fight against human trafficking, I urge you all to continue this fight, and I pledge the continued partnership of the United States as we work together to bring an end to this modern form of slavery.
Tonight, I would like to provide a special recognition to some of Macedonia’s unsung heroes in the fight against human trafficking, individuals who have worked hard to identify, protect, and assist victims of trafficking for many years.
First Certificate of Appreciation is awarded to Ms. Nada Blazevska from the Social Welfare office in Tetovo, for sustained excellence in providing assistance, protection, and care to potential domestic and foreign victims of human trafficking.
Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Ratko Trimceski from the Social Welfare office in Gostivar, for sustained excellence in providing assistance, protection, and care to potential domestic and foreign victims of human trafficking.
Certificate of Appreciation is awarded to Ms. Gjurgjica Noveska from the Social Welfare office in Skopje, for sustained excellence in providing assistance, protection, and care to potential domestic and foreign victims of human trafficking.
And the last, but not least, Certificate of Appreciation goes to Mr. Ragmi Isufi from the Social Welfare office in Kumanovo, for sustained excellence in providing assistance, protection, and care to potential domestic and foreign victims of human trafficking.
It is an honor to recognize your long service, hard, and noble work. It has made and continues to make a tremendous difference in the lives of victims of trafficking and prevents many future possible victims as well.