In the ten years since former President Bill Clinton signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the United Nations outlined the international community's anti-trafficking standards, there has been some notable progress.
The U.S. State Department has released the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report. Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca leads the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. He said the United States continues to be a world leader on trafficking issues. In the ten years since former President Bill Clinton signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the United Nations outlined the international community's anti-trafficking standards, there has been some notable progress.
A noteworthy success is Bosnia and Herzegovina, which this year was upgraded to Tier 1 on the Trafficking report. Bosnia was on Tier 3 for many years. "For a lot of people," said Ambassador-at-Large CdeBaca, "the global fight against human trafficking first came to people's attention because of the widespread sex slavery and the widespread abuses in the Balkans during the various wars of the 1990s." Over the last year, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has significantly reduced its use of suspended sentences; imposed stronger penalties for convicted traffickers; partnered with nongovernmental organizations on victim protection; and employed proactive measures to identify and help victims.
Another success story is Egypt where the government has enacted a comprehensive law in addition to law enforcement and prevention efforts to confront short-term marriages of Egyptian girls –- a thinly veiled cover for prostitution of children. The government has also started setting up shelters with some major hospitals in Cairo and Alexandria.
The government of Pakistan was upgraded to Tier 2 this year for dramatically increasing the number of convictions and prosecutions for human trafficking and undertaking efforts to prevent bonded labor.
Over the course of the last year, Malaysian authorities have begun to tackle their serious human trafficking problem, including greater engagement with foreign governments.
The United States congratulates those countries that have made progress in the last year. "We reaffirm the commitment of the United States," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "to do everything we can at home and around the world to end modern slavery and I hope this report galvanizes further action."