Trafficking in persons is a horrific crime. During the recent annual meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Vice President Kamala Harris said, “We are here to focus on the estimated 25 million people around the world – as many as one in three who are under the age of 18 – who are currently victims of human trafficking,” she said. “Human trafficking happens both abroad and right here in the United States.”
Vice President Harris called for “serious consequences and accountability for those who commit these crimes,” and underscored the key pillars of the U.S. and global anti-trafficking efforts: prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships between the government, business and non-profit leaders, and those with lived experience of human trafficking.
Globally, human trafficking is a $150 billion per year industry. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, “The fact that human traffickers launder their money through shell companies or cryptocurrencies, or even traditional banks is not the worst aspect of their crimes, but it is often the most effective way to catch them.”
For the last six years, the Treasury Department has striven to identify the patterns of human trafficking in money flows. The Department has worked with various financial institutions, including hundreds of banks, piecing together which accounts belong to traffickers, to lock them out of the financial system and expose their crimes. The Treasury Department also partnered with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to help the gaming industry recognize victims of human trafficking and money laundering through casinos. Treasury began the process to expose the ownership of certain shell companies where illegal gains from human trafficking can be hidden.
Treasury Secretary Yellen also highlighted the Treasury Department’s efforts to help victims who have been stripped of their identifying documents by traffickers, obtain access to the financial system and re-start their lives.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who chaired the meeting, highlighted the global nature of the crime and the need for a global coalition to confront it. He also emphasized the need “to find more ways to put effective pressure on governments that engage in or enable human trafficking - China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia.”
In the face of such “heinous and profitable” evil, Vice President Harris said, “It will take all of us to address human trafficking.”
Anncr: That was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.