During her introduction of the 2012 Trafficking in Persons or TIP Report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “traffickers prey on the hopes and dreams of those seeking a better life. And our goal should be to put those hopes and dreams back within reach.”
Every year, the United States honors individuals from around the globe who devote their lives to doing just that. They protect victims, ensure that offenders are brought to justice, and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad. This year, ten such people have been chosen as TIP Report Heroes in the Fight against Modern-Day Slavery.
Himself a victim of slavery, Vannak Anan Prum is an activist against human trafficking, raising awareness of labor exploitation in the fishing industry of Southeast Asia. Likewise, Sister Aziza Azezet Kidane shines a light on the suffering of human trafficking victims in the Sinai, and helps to identify these abuses.
Aruba’s Jeannette Richardson-Baars works to expose human trafficking cases, raise public awareness, and provide protection services to victims.
Phil Hyldgaard of Greece is the European Operations Manager for The A21 Campaign, an NGO dedicated to fighting human trafficking. He is largely responsible for the establishment of a nationwide hotline to report suspected cases of human trafficking in Greece.
Dr. Raimi Vincent Paraiso of the Republic of Congo works to improve the lives of child trafficking and forced labor victims, even when doing so leads to threats to his safety.
As founder and President of International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen of the United States has built a global team of hundreds of lawyers, investigators, and social workers who partner with local governments to rescue and care for trafficking victims and to hold traffickers accountable under local law.
Argentine prosecutor Marcelo Colombo; Australian lawyer Anne Gallagher; Judge Maria Grazia Giammarinaro of Italy; and Mauritania’s first woman lawyer, Fatimata M’Baye, work within the legal systems of their countries and the multilateral arena to highlight and criminalize practices that amount to slavery, to strengthen legislative and criminal justice responses to trafficking, to investigate suspected cases of slavery and to prosecute the perpetrators.
“Their work is making a real difference,” said Secretary Clinton. “They ... remind us that one person’s commitment and passion, one person’s experience and the courage to share that experience with the world, can have a huge impact.”