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Chairman Menendez Statement on State Department’s 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to the publication of the 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report by the U.S. Department of State:

"With more than 40 million people currently trapped in modern day slavery, today’s publication of the 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report is a painful reminder of the work left to be done to end this $150 billion dollar blood industry. While this year’s report shows a small decrease in the number of countries whose governments do not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards, it also documents the ways that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated people’s vulnerability to human trafficking while interrupting existing anti-trafficking efforts.

“Likewise, this year’s report rightfully determined countries like Malaysia, Cuba, and China deserved a Tier-3 ranking for their governments’ continued failure to take the most basic steps to address their record as the worst human trafficking hotspots in the world. I am also encouraged to see the report’s focus on the negative impacts of misinformation, the connections between systemic racism and human trafficking, and the special vulnerabilities faced by members of the LGBTQI+ community.

“It remains clear that the solution to dismantle the scourge of modern day slavery lies with governments across the world mustering the political will to take a stronger stance against human trafficking, as well as demanding more transparency and responsibility from companies to address their complicity in this human rights disaster. As the principal tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking, the 2021 TIP report will be indispensable to ensuring the U.S. Congress and the Biden administration have the most accurate information to effectively advocate for justice, freedom, and universal human rights for some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.”