Last night the U.S. Senate passed HR 972, the 2005 Trafficking Victim Protection Reauthorization Act, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith. This act, which now goes to President Bush for signature, will strengthen our anti-trafficking efforts at home and abroad, in particular by increasing focus on the need to reduce the demand for trafficking victims.http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:h.r.00972:
The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons has named U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Michele Sison the 2005 Abolitionist Ambassador of the Year. Ambassador Sison's leadership helped stimulate U.A.E. government action to: rescue and shelter more than 800 trafficked children, repatriate camel jockey victims, and pass a law criminalizing child camel jockey trafficking. These actions lifted the U.A.E. out of Tier 3 of the Trafficking in Persons Report. This is an example of the great progress that can be achieved when the U.S. and other countries partner to address this issue in a meaningful way, thereby giving hope of new life to some of the world's most vulnerable citizens.
In a meeting with NGO representatives in Washington, Pakistani human rights activist and 2005 TIP Report hero Ansar Burney described his groundbreaking work to assist victims of child camel jockey trafficking in the Middle East. Burney reported continued progress in addressing trafficking in the UAE but indicated more needs to be done in the region to free children still enslaved. Joined by his wife Shaheen and son Fahad, Burney called for more action by organizations and governments in source countries to safely and effectively repatriate child victims.
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