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Corker Takes Part in State Department Launch of 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report

Senator Credits Trump Administration for Commitment to Ending Modern Slavery

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ivanka Trump at the State Department’s launch of the 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Afterwards, he praised the Trump administration for its commitment to ending modern slavery and human trafficking. The annual TIP report grades countries on their progress in enforcing laws against forced labor, sexual servitude and other forms of human trafficking, while also supporting victims. Last Wednesday, Susan Coppedge, U.S. ambassador-at-large to monitor and combat trafficking in persons, briefed members of the committee on this year’s findings.

“The TIP report is a critical tool and plays an important role in our efforts to end modern slavery around the world,” said Corker. “This year’s report is a step forward in efforts to improve the transparency and integrity of the rankings, and I appreciate the Trump administration for its sincere commitment to tackling this massive problem, which affects more than 27 million people who are enslaved around the world. I look forward to continuing our efforts to establish an even larger leadership role for the United States as we work to end this plague on mankind once and for all.”

In 2015, Corker raised serious concern about questionable upgrades for countries in that year’s TIP report. The State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons subsequently agreed to brief the committee prior to releasing future reports in an effort to prevent any inappropriate influence over the country rankings recommended by the TIP office.

Corker is a leader in efforts to end modern slavery at home and abroad. In addition to cosponsoring legislation to strengthen anti-human trafficking measures domestically, Corker previously proposed the End Modern Slavery Initiative, which was designed to leverage limited foreign aid dollars and galvanize support and investment from the public sector, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector to eliminate modern slavery and human trafficking around the globe. In December, the president signed legislation into law that included authorizing language for the initiative.