WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report.
“Human trafficking is one of the great moral challenges of our time,” Senator Cardin said. “Corruption, lack of political will, weak rule of law, and an international demand for cheap labor and services has resulting in an ever growing criminal industry. Trafficking in persons destroys people, corrodes communities, and results in tremendous violence, deplorable greed, and tragic outcomes for innocent people. That is why the Trafficking in Persons Report is so vital – it shines a spotlight on nations who are failing to combat this scourge and it raises American credibility on this issue. Reports that the 2015 TIP Report resulted in factually unwarranted upgrades for certain countries, most notably Malaysia, are deeply troubling and demand a meaningful response from the State Department. The credibility and integrity of the TIP Report can never be compromised. We owe it to the millions of men, women, and children around the world who suffer from the horrifying realities of modern slavery to maintain America’s leadership, reputation, and resolve in the fight against human trafficking.”