3 Things We Learned from the Department of State’s Annual Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report

The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report marked its 20th anniversary in June. Each year, the US Department of State creates and submits a report of global human trafficking updates and topics. Additionally, the report ranks each country based on its efforts to combat human trafficking. Until you find the time to read through the 555-page report, LifeWay wants to share three takeaways:

    1. Language matters! Alternative language for “Child Sex Tourism”: Traditionally, the term “child sex tourism” was used to describe buyers from different countries who travel for the purpose of purchasing commercial sex from minors. As the report correctly points out, however, the term does not encompass expatriates, volunteers, and those who have permanently moved abroad and who exploit children. Today, the anti-trafficking community uses the terms “extraterritorial child sexual exploitation and abuse” and “extraterritorial commercial child sexual exploitation and abuse.” These emphasize the significant harm inflicted on children without referencing the perpetrator’s reason for being in the foreign country.
    2. The United States wasn’t ranked until 2010 (9 years after the first annual report!): As mentioned, a big part of the TIP Report is in ranking countries. Although the report is produced by the US State Department, oddly the report had a separate section that focused on the United States without a ranking. It does seem to be bit fairer to acknowledge that human trafficking is occuring virtually everywhere. Adding the United States to the rankings is a step in the right direction.
    3. As of June 2020, all but 15 countries have ratified the Palermo Protocol: The Parlermo Protocol is a universally accepted definition of human trafficking, and has led many countries, including the United States, to adopt national legislation to combat human trafficking. This is huge! In 2004 only four countries had ratified the protocol: Bulgaria, Monaco, Nigeria, and Serbia.

Take Action:

    1. Read the report: In addition to country rankings, the reports features interesting insight into topics such as the role of Trauma Bonding in Human Trafficking and Human Trafficking in Sports: https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-TIP-Report-Complete-062420-FINAL.pdf.