FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 19. 2013

Today at approximately 4pm EST, Secretary Kerry released the 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

As Secretary Kerry firmly stated, “The TIP Report is tough because those who fight trafficking have to be tough to stand up for justice.” The 2013 TIP Report theme is “Victim Identification: The First Step in Stopping Modern-Day Slavery” and it ranks 188 countries. CAST recognizes that this year’s theme is increasingly important due to the complexity of identifying victims. This is exactly why CAST conducts law enforcement and public outreach trainings.

Kay Buck, the CEO & Executive Director of CAST released the following statement:

"CAST applauds the administration’s recent focus on modern-day slavery. President Obama has announced several new Administration initiatives to tackle human trafficking here and abroad, including a Strategic Action Plan to Strengthen Services for Trafficking Victims. We also applaud the TIP Report’s emphasis on victim identification. We recognize that identification is a key first step in helping survivors; however we also know that supportive comprehensive services are needed to help survivors rebuild their lives. The TIP Report highlighted that funding has stagnated for services providers. In fact, appropriations bills that support funding for victim services through the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have not passed. As a direct service provider, CAST has seen an unprecedented 49% increase in breaking cases this year, and currently we have 9 victims on our waiting list. To help direct service providers, like CAST, the president and the U.S. Congress must now increase funding for victim services.

CAST’s Survivor Organizer, Ima Matul, was highlighted with Former President Clinton and President Obama on page 7 of the TIP Report. Following the release of the report, Ima said, “As a survivor, I know how important it was to be identified as a trafficking victim. That is where my path to recovery started – but was far from ending. The ongoing, continuing services that CAST provided me were key in empowering me and other survivors as leaders in the anti-trafficking movement.”

See the full 2013 TIP report here. Make sure to take a look at page 417, where the TIP Report highlights CAST’s Survivor Advisory Caucus!

ABOUT THE COALITION TO ABOLISH SLAVERY AND TRAFFICKING

The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), a Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with international and domestic programming, is the longest running and largest anti-slavery organization in the country, and the first to advocate for laws to protect victims. The mission of CAST is to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery-like practices and to work toward ending all instances of such human-rights violations. Known for opening the first shelter for trafficked women and girls in the country, CAST provides resources for the media, policy makers, law enforcement, and the philanthropic community. The organization also provides the final lifeline for human beings who escape slavery. To contribute to CAST’s Freedom Campaign, visit: http://www.castla.org/freedom-campaign.

To learn how you can take action TODAY, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/castlosangeles, and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CASTLA. For inquiries, please contact Wendy Santana at wendy@castla.org.