2018 Trafficking In Persons Report

The US State Department has released the 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The annual TIP Report highlights where human trafficking is occurring and what steps countries are taking to address this human rights issue. It aims to inform policy-makers, law enforcement, and community groups on areas that need ongoing action and to help improve anti-trafficking efforts locally and globally.[caption id="attachment_9472" align="aligncenter" width="678"]

Source: 2018 TIP Report, Page 10[/caption]The Report covers all forms of human trafficking, including child sex trafficking which it defines as a child (under 18 years of age) being recruited, harboured, transported, provided, obtained, patronised, or solicited for the purpose of a commercial sex act; proving force, fraud, or coercion is not necessary when a child is exploited into child sex trafficking. Children who are exploited in this way are human trafficking victims.“Sex trafficking has devastating consequences for children, including long-lasting physical and psychological trauma, disease (including HIV/AIDS), drug addiction, unwanted pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, and even death” . [TIP Report, page 32]The Report’s opening messages from the US Secretary of State notes that human trafficking deprives millions worldwide of their dignity and freedom. Traffickers are skilled at identifying vulnerability in those they exploit and take advantage of difficult family circumstances.“A lot of the time, traffickers go to malls, bus stops or public places where a lot of people congregate, or they’ll even go to schools. The older person knows how to manipulate and how to tell if a girl is insecure or has low self-esteem.”(Human trafficking survivor advocate, Genevieve Hightower), [TIP Report, page 43]As in previous years, Cambodia continues to be a country where children are subjected to sex trafficking. Children from impoverished families are particularly vulnerable. In 2018, Cambodia is again rated as Tier 2 in the TIP report. This means it does not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, but that it is making significant efforts to do so.[caption id="attachment_9471" align="aligncenter" width="1136"]

Source: 2018 TIP Report, Page 62[/caption][caption id="attachment_9470" align="aligncenter" width="941"]

Source: 2018 TIP Report, Page 125[/caption]The TIP Report indicates that Cambodia has increased efforts over the last year, including by convicting more traffickers and training more officials and teachers on trafficking and safe migration. Prevention efforts have also increased in some areas, including increased awareness raising, the signing of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, and the continued work on implementation of the 2014-2018 national action plan.However, longer term action plans and funding to maintain efforts and momentum is not clear. The TIP report highlights ongoing areas of concern and the need for further action. Among areas for further improvement, the Report recommends Cambodia strengthen efforts to enable proactive victim identification among vulnerable groups and enhancing public awareness campaigns aimed at reducing the demand for prostitution and child sex tourism.The TIP Report has a focus on efforts to support victims after trafficking has occurred and on prosecuting offenders. This year’s report also looks at ways local communities can help pro-actively address human trafficking.“Local communities are the most affected by this abhorrent crime and are also the first line of defence against human trafficking”. [US Secretary of State][caption id="attachment_9473" align="aligncenter" width="500"]

2018 TIP Report, Page 23[/caption]The Report notes that understanding human trafficking in its local context is critical to developing a meaningful response and that proactive community-driven measures can help identify and protect the most vulnerable, and weaken traffickers’ ability to infiltrate, recruit, and exploit.Free To Shine strongly supports these principles and they closely align with our Vision and Mission, and the way we go about helping children and families at risk of sex trafficking.Free to Shine works with local families and communities to help keep girls in school to reduce their risk of exploitation. Education creates choice and opportunity and is the key to preventing trafficking.The TIP Report focuses on Government efforts, but it notes that action from non government groups at the local level play a critical role; combined efforts can improve awareness, targeting of interventions and effectiveness of efforts to combat human trafficking.Again, Free To Shine supports this. We play a unique role in identifying children and families at risk to help prevent sex trafficking from occurring. This reduces the number of potential victims, enables opportunities and a brighter future for the girls and their families, and builds stronger and safer communities throughout Cambodia. We also actively build partnerships and networks with others to support the mutual goal of protecting girls from sex trafficking, by reducing their vulnerability through access to education and social work support.Free To Shine’s preventative approach was established after our founder spoke directly with survivors of sex trafficking in Cambodia.

“Despite the horrors these girls had been through, they didn’t want anything for themselves. What they wanted was for no other girl to to go through it. They told me that if girls were in school they would not be trafficked, and wanted young girls who were not at school to be found and protected.”-Nicky Mih, Founder & Managing Director of Free To ShineFree To Shine continues to work hard at finding and supporting the most vulnerable girls and empowering them through education to ensure they are not susceptible to the atrocities of sex trafficking.To help Free To Shine prevent and protect girls from child sex trafficking please give a gift here.To read the 2018 Trafficking In Persons Report in its entirety follow this link.