“We will relentlessly pursue those who trade in the misery of other human beings and we will rescue their victims and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
“Not only are criminal networks expanding, but they are also diversifying their activities – with dire implications for public safety, public health, democratic institutions and, in this already tough economic climate, the financial stability of nations across the globe,” said United States Deputy Attorney General James Cole in mid-Nov at the 81st INTERPOL Ministerial and General Assembly meeting in Rome.
“The United Nations estimates that, in 2009, transnational organized criminal activities generated $870 billion in illegal proceeds – equivalent to almost 7 percent of world exports.”
There are few crimes more heinous than modern-day slavery. It “demands enhanced global attention and a unified law enforcement response,” said Mr. Cole.
“One of the greatest horrors of this crime is that traffickers view their victims as nothing more than a commodity, something that can be bought and sold, or simply taken ... and eventually discarded. The treatment traffickers mete out to their victims is fully consistent with that; they are treated as property or things – not people. [As has been so astutely pointed out:] You can only sell a drug once, but you can sell a human being over, and over, and over, leaving the victims in a perpetual life of bondage.”
The United States is fully engaged in combating human trafficking, but we cannot eradicate this horrific crime alone. It is frequently international in nature, and success in prosecuting it is only possible through partnerships that increase the effectiveness of our joint efforts and yield concrete results, said Deputy Attorney General Cole.
Cooperation also sends an important message: “We will relentlessly pursue those who trade in the misery of other human beings and we will rescue their victims and bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said
“Only by communicating effectively, sharing intelligence and combining resources ... can we truly understand current and emerging trends and create an effective strategy to anticipate and combat these crimes.
“Transnational organized crime and human trafficking present extraordinary challenges for all of us,” said Mr. Cole. “But, by working together across borders and continents, we can turn the tables on these criminals and the complex and ever evolving threats that they present.”