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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 10, 2003
Statement by the Press Secretary
Presidential Determination Regarding the Trafficking Victims Protection
Act for 2003
The President notified Congress that ten countries have avoided possible sanctions under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 because of significant steps their governments have taken to fight trafficking in persons. These governments -- Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Greece, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Suriname, Turkey, and Uzbekistan -- deserve recognition for their quick action to address problems noted in the Department of State's June 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report. The President is committed to leading the fight to eradicate trafficking in persons, which according to our recent estimate involves up to 900,000 people a year being moved across international borders into forced labor, sexual exploitation, and other forms of modern day slavery. Steps taken by these ten governments demonstrate that the Administration's intervention on this issue is spurring the international community to action and, most importantly, is yielding results.
These ten countries made notable progress in many key areas including the drafting or passage of new anti-trafficking legislation and procedures; conducting high-profile public awareness campaigns on national press and television; developing new anti-trafficking training programs for police, immigration and judicial officials; creating national task forces and action plans; establishing confidential hotlines to fight corruption and trafficking in persons; and building referral systems for victims. These important actions will punish the perpetrators and help the victims of this heinous crime around the world.
The steps taken by these countries stand in contrast to the continuing failure of Burma, Cuba, and North Korea to make significant efforts to comply with the Act's minimum standards. As a result, the President decided to impose sanctions on these countries in accordance with the Act. While Liberia and Sudan have also failed to meet the standards of the Act, and are thus subject to sanctions, the President has determined that certain multilateral assistance for these two countries would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. For Sudan, the assistance will be limited to that which may be necessary to implement a peace accord.
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