U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana Welcomes Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report Heroes
TIP Report Heroes Visiting From Cameroon, Croatia, Guyana, Iraq, Japan, Nicaragua and the Philippines
ARLINGTON, Texas — U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas welcomed the 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes at an executive session this morning of the North Texas Anti-Trafficking Team (NTATT) in Arlington, Texas. Each year, the Department of State honors individuals from around the world who have devoted their lives to fight human trafficking. The 2013 TIP Report Heroes were announced last week by Secretary of State John Kerry when he released the 2013 TIP Report, and Dallas is one of only three cities in the country honored with their visit.
U.S. Attorney Saldaña said, “I am honored and humbled to welcome this impressive group of heroes today – heroes who have made an extraordinary difference in the global fight against modern-day slavery. The fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery, including the rights and interests of victims of these heinous crimes, is a Department of Justice priority.”
The TIP Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. According to the Department of State, it is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue. The U.S. Government uses the TIP Report to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms and to combat trafficking and to target resources on prevention, protection and prosecution programs.
At today’s meeting, U.S. Attorney Saldaña introduced these Heroes and noted their tireless efforts – in spite of resistance, opposition and threats to their lives – to protect victims, punish offenders and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad. The Heroes are from Cameroon, Croatia, Guyana, Iraq, Japan, Nicaragua and the Philippines, and each shared his personal story at the meeting.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas launched the NTATT in 2006 to combat human trafficking in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and surrounding counties. NTATT’s goal is to work with law enforcement and private agencies to discover and assist victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. In addition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, agencies represented in today’s roundtable discussion included: Arlington Independent School District Police Department, Arlington Police Department, Catholic Charities of Dallas, Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, Child Protective Services, Cooks Children’s Hospital, Dallas County Juvenile Department, Dallas Police Department, Dallas Independent School District Police Department, FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Fort Worth Police Department, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Mosaic Family Services, Safe City Commission, Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Texas Department of Public Safety.