Task force makes strides in combating human trafficking

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough recently spoke at the Annual Meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. McDonough reviewed the Task Force’s progress since meeting last year, citing an executive order to strengthen the federal government’s current zero-tolerance policy on human trafficking in government contracting and the development of a comprehensive, cross-government victims’ services strategic action plan.

McDonough also discussed the launch of the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Campus Challenge and Made in a Free World, two new initiatives to spur awareness on college campuses and among consumers and suppliers throughout the supply chain, as well as the role of public-private partnerships in increasing services to survivors both in the United States and abroad.

Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke at the annual meeting, praising the Task Force for the progress that has been made in the past year. Like McDonough, Kerry recognized the contributions of private sector partners, saying that the federal government cannot tackle trafficking in persons alone. According to Kerry, trafficking in persons is not only a law enforcement concern, but also one of diplomacy, healthcare providers, immigration officials, and all aspects of government.

In his remarks, Kerry called for a cross-government holistic approach, committing himself to a whole-of-government approach and asking the Task Force to continue to champion anti-trafficking efforts. Kerry also stated that the American people should be “very, very proud” of the efforts made by the Task Force, referring to the Task Force as “one of the better examples of coordination and accomplishment.”

For more information about progress made by the Task Force, please follow the links below.
Remarks at the Annual Meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Department of State
Progress in Combating Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. Government Response to Modern Slavery, President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

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