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Statement by Ambassador Cunningham on the U.S. Government's 2014 Trafficking in Person Report
Embassy of the United States of America Kabul, Afghanistan June 21, 2014 Statement by Ambassador James B. Cunningham on the release of the Department of State’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report. Yesterday the Department of State released the annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The goal of this report, which is mandated by the U.S. Congress, is to stimulate action and create partnerships around the world in the fight against modern-day slavery. Afghanistan was placed in Tier 2, which represents an improvement from 2013. I commend the Government of Afghanistan’s efforts in this area. This is real progress. At the same time, I urge the government to build on that progress and to continue its efforts to address the many serious challenges that remain. The Trafficking in Persons Report recognizes the Government of Afghanistan’s significant efforts to comply with the minimum standards to combat human trafficking as outlined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. As noted in the report, the Government of Afghanistan issued a decree directing law enforcement agencies to cease prosecuting trafficking victims. The Government also took steps to implement its anti-trafficking action plan: both houses of the Afghan Parliament recently approved the 2000 UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. As result of these efforts, Afghanistan has been removed from the watch list in this year’s report. We encourage the government to fully implement its national anti-trafficking action plan and to educate government officials at all levels, including law enforcement and judicial officials, on the definition of human trafficking. This will further demonstrate that Afghanistan is a serious, committed partner in the international struggle to end the practice of trafficking in human beings.