SPEECHES, REMARKS & STATEMENTS IN 2012
Chargé d’Affaires Brian C. Aggeler remarks at Release of 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, June 20, 2012
Good afternoon, everyone. It is a great pleasure to be here today with Minister Jankuloska and Minister Ristovski on the occasion of the release of the State Department’s 2012 Trafficking in Persons report.
Our 2012 TIP Report assessment is not based merely on whether strong laws have been enacted, but whether those laws are being implemented broadly and effectively. Even countries that fully adhere to the minimum standards for elimination of human trafficking must continue to work on improving the capacity of government to protect victims and hold traffickers accountable.
I’d like to congratulate the Government of Macedonia for maintaining its tier one ranking in the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report. It is very encouraging that for the second year in a row, Macedonia has met the standards for inclusion in the ranking in the highest category for its efforts in the fight for the elimination of human trafficking.
Special recognition goes to Minister Jankuloska and Minister Ristovski. The partnership between the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy has been key in effectively combating human trafficking, and assisting victims.
I also want to thank all those individuals representing non-governmental organizations who work to prevent human trafficking, and to provide services and assistance to victims of human trafficking.
Elimination of all forms of trafficking in persons – be that for sex or labor purposed, internal or transnational, or affecting, women, men or children - is among the top priorities of the United States. We know that trafficking in persons affects every region and every country in the world, including the United States.
It is estimated that as many as 27 million people round the world are victims of human trafficking. As Secretary of State Clinton said yesterday in Washington: “As we recommit ourselves to end modern slavery, we should take a moment to reflect on how far we have come, here in our country and around the world, but how much farther we still have to go to find a way to free those 27 million victims and to ensure that there are no longer any victims in the future.”
With that goal in mind, the United States will continue its partnership with the Government of Macedonia and non-governmental organizations to combat this horrific crime. Together we can make continue to make a real difference as part of the global effort to eliminate this modern day slavery.