US Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged to work with Senegal’s government in eliminating human trafficking.
Kerry made the remarks when he announced the publication of the 16th Annual Report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP). The US Congress requires the production of this report to measure the annual progress of countries around the world in the fight against trafficking people. Senegal and the United States are among the 187 countries assessed in the report.
“When we talk about ‘human trafficking,’ we’re talking about slavery – modern-day slavery that still today claims more than 20 million victims on any given time,” Kerry said and added, “Modern slavery doesn’t happen only in warzones. It exists in areas of both darkness and plain sight of people all over the world – even at sea.”
When we talk about 'human trafficking,' we’re talking about slavery – modern-day slavery that still today claims more than 20 million victims on any given time.
The report made specific recommendations on the fight against human trafficking in Senegal.
Specifically, it calls for further investigations, prosecutions and convictions of persons convicted of trafficking offenses; the training of those working with victims; standardization and increasing resources available to victims; increased inspections in the informal sectors; the continued mapping of Koranic schools; expanding the national action plan against human trafficking and conducting awareness campaigns for the general public on issues related to human trafficking.
During the report publication ceremony, Kerry honored nine people from various countries of the world, as “heroes of the fight against human trafficking.” Senegalese Issa Kouyate was one of those nine.
Kouyate is the founder and director of “House of station” in St. Louis, a place of refuge for people who are trafficked and other young children at risk. Kouyate, works closely with local authorities on issues related to forced child begging.
“We applaud his efforts and his outstanding work in St. Louis,” the US Secretary said.
“Despite the contributions of Mr. Kouyate and other partners in the fight against human trafficking in Senegal, particularly on the issue of forced child begging, there is still work to do in this area and in other forms of drafts people,” Kerry observed.
Senegal is placed in the “Tier 2 Watch List”, a designation for governments that have not fully complied with the minimum standards set by US Congress to fight against human trafficking, but which are making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with those standards.