Letter from Secretary Condoleezza Rice
In his 2005 inaugural address, President Bush gave renewed voice to the hopes and dreams of people around the world who seek lives of freedom. He said, "America will not pretend that the jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies." Yet for millions of people entrapped each year in vicious schemes of labor and sex trafficking, freedom is denied. These trafficking victims are deprived of their most basic human rights and fall into modern-day slavery. President Bush, the Congress, and the American people are united in efforts to eradicate trafficking in persons internationally and within national borders because this global crime opposes the universal value of freedom.
This fifth annual Trafficking in Persons Report, along with the $82 million* in anti-trafficking assistance our nation provided to foreign governments and non-government organizations last year, demonstrates our strong commitment to this cause. This year, we included more country analyses as a result of deeper research and a wider range of sources. We also expanded our coverage of labor slavery, especially internal labor trafficking. Forced labor and involuntary servitude are appallingly common, including whole villages working to pay off old debts passed down through generations.
The TIP Report serves to expose these despicable aspects of trafficking. It provokes, lauds, and challenges. Countries including the United States, which is dealing with its own trafficking problem, have been inspired to greater action against human trafficking as a result of this unique compendium. By reading it, we hope you are joining with us in the abolitionist movement of the 21st century to advance freedom for the world's most vulnerable citizens.
*Upon review, the Fiscal Year 2004 anti-trafficking in persons (TIP) funding level was revised from $96 million to $82 million because some child labor programs were mistakenly included as anti-trafficking programs in the initial calculation.