A Closing Note from the Drafters of the Report

Trafficking in Persons Report
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
June 14, 2004

Writing this report from our windowed offices in Washington, DC, we have seen spring arrive with its warmth, glory, and promise of a new cycle of life. Yet as we celebrate the change in seasons, we are reminded that for millions of children, women and men around the world - enslaved in sexual or labor bondage - there is no respite from the relentless hell they face. And every day, more victims join them. We owe to them our utmost analytical, diplomatic, and programmatic efforts. This report is their collective story.

Drafting and coordinating a report that evaluates foreign governments' anti-trafficking actions has challenged us and our partners at home and abroad as we strive for accuracy and fairness. Hewing to the letter and spirit of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, we place a premium on prompting improvements in behavior through cooperation and engagement with like-minded governments throughout the world. But inaction on behalf of victims must be highlighted and comes with a cost.

We want to thank our colleagues within the Department of State and in other U.S. Government Departments who helped refine and coordinate this report. We thank our colleagues in foreign embassies here in Washington and in governments around the world who gave their considerable time and attention to our requests for information, and most importantly, their cooperation in fighting trafficking in persons. We thank the victims whose stories contributed to this report, and the NGOs working to end this scourge. But most of all, we want to thank you, the reader, for taking the time to review the report. We hope you will be moved in some way to contribute to the global effort to eradicate modern-day slavery.

We feel privileged to have worked on a report of such tremendous import and are proud to have been entrusted to draft it by Secretary Powell. It is our fervent hope that through the report's detailed depiction of human trafficking the world over, it will encourage necessary reforms. It is our hope that traffickers will be punished for their barbaric behavior. It is our hope that more victims will find a hand extended to help them through the trauma of rape, enslavement, and dehumanizing conditions to the hope of a new future.

The distance from Washington to the world's darkest and most inaccessible sites of modern-day slavery is getting shorter.

The Staff
U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

Feleke T. Assefa
Deborah S. Belsky
Chad Bettes
Anthony Eterno
Rawle L. Fortune
Eleanor B. Kennelly
Robin Lerner
Nicholas Levintow
Phillip Linderman

James C. Linton
Carla H. Menares-Bury
John R. Miller
Sally Neumann
Leaksmy C. Norin
Amy W. O'Neill
Jennifer N. Ober
Rachel E. Owen
JoAnn Schneider

Gannon Sims
Eddie L. Stevison
Mark B. Taylor
Caroline S. Tetschner
Jennifer Topping
Robert A. Tsukayama
Rachel Yousey