I am pleased to be part of today’s event to raise awareness of human trafficking in Madagascar.
Around the world, the United States is a committed and proactive partner to governments in the global fight against human trafficking.
Human trafficking violates the basic rights and freedoms of all people to do, be, and live as they choose.
The United States is committed to fighting human trafficking because we believe it is essential to stand up for those who have no voice.
The effects of human trafficking are both broad and devastating. It destabilizes societies; it undermines economies; it harms workers; it enriches perpetrators; and it undercuts legitimate business.
Here in Madagascar, we are so pleased to work under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s office, and with the UNODC to implement a U.S. government-funded 2-million-dollar project to combat trafficking. We are proud to partner with the UN in this project to help your law enforcement officers receive essential training to recognize trafficking in all its forms, to ask the right questions, and to collect the right evidence necessary to prosecute cases.
This U.S. project will build the capacities of your judges and prosecutors to enforce the 2014 Anti-Trafficking Law, preparing them to try these cases and to hold traffickers accountable for their crimes.
The project will build better data collection tools so that we can accurately track the important work of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and social workers, and we can bring traffickers to justice, and connect trafficking victims with the support they so dearly need.
Human trafficking is very difficult, and it cannot be eradicated overnight. But Madagascar has already taken the first step by acknowledging the existence and impact of trafficking in Madagascar.
Your government action to combat trafficking will create needed change in Madagascar.
Your support to combat human trafficking will promote Madagascar’s stability, will protect workers, will boost your economy, and will save lives.
So, I will look forward to hearing more about the decisions you make today and in September’s working group.
And my commitment to you is that the United States is a supportive and engaged partner with the Government of Madagascar in your fight against human trafficking.
The future of Madagascar’s most vulnerable citizens depends on you and your efforts. And I thank you and commend you.
Thank you very much.