Senior U.S. Official Visits Hong Kong to Discuss Combatting Trafficking in Persons

Dr. Kari Johnstone, Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons visited Hong Kong October 22-23, 2015. She met with Hong Kong officials including Secretary for Security T.K. Lai, Director of Public Prosecutions Keith Yeung, and others from the Security Bureau, Department of Justice, and Labor and Welfare Bureau. Dr. Johnstone also met with a wide range of non-governmental organizations focused on trafficking in persons and related issues, including domestic worker advocates, groups doing outreach to sex workers, and legal experts.

Dr. Johnstone noted the international community’s growing understanding of the crime of modern slavery and encouraged Hong Kong authorities to prosecute traffickers who are exploiting trafficking victims, proactively identify victims among vulnerable populations – such as women and children who were arrested during police raids, domestic workers, and migrant workers – and provide full protection to these victims consistent with international best practices.

Human trafficking is a term used to describe activities involved when someone obtains or holds a person in compelled service, for example sex trafficking or forced labor. It is estimated that over 20 million individuals around the globe are victims of human trafficking. These individuals are denied the most basic of freedoms, such as choosing where to live and work, and being free from harm or threats of harm to themselves or their families. Human trafficking occurs all over the world, including in the United States, and affects all kinds of people.

The Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons leads the United States’ global engagement against human trafficking. The Office is headed by Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Susan Coppedge. The Office pursues policies, partnerships, and practices that uphold the “3P” paradigm of prosecuting traffickers, protecting victims, and preventing trafficking.

Learn more about the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
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