June 28, 2023

Forced labor, human trafficking highlighted during Senate hearing

Norfolk NE Radio

WASHINGTON D.C. – Human trafficking is a heinous crime that affects people all over the world, even if it’s not easily recognizable.

This topic, along with the Uyghur Forced Labor Camps (UFLPA) in the People’s Republic of China, were recently highlighted by Senator Pete Ricketts in a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing.

He says in Nebraska, they worked on a four-part plan to combat a crime that not only inflicts severe trauma on its victims, but demonstrates a sickening regard for human dignity.

‘We raised awareness with regard to the public by using rest areas, educating emergency room doctors, and letting the public know; passed laws to strengthen the penalties for human trafficking and be able to prosecute those cases more effectively; empowered law enforcement to more effectively apprehend criminals through our Operation United; and increased the support for survivors who need care and support.”

When questioned on how our efforts are perceived internationally regarding human trafficking, Ambassador Cynthia Dyer says while their doing a really good job overall, there’s always room for improvement.

In regards to the labor camps, Ricketts says it’s estimated that over 1 million people have been imprisoned in “re-education camps,” while around 100,000 Uyghurs and other minorities are engaged in forced labor camps, which he calls despicable.

When questioned about further actions the state department is doing, Ambassador Cynthia Dyer says there are several things the state department is doing to implement the UFLPA in coordination with the forced labor enforcement task force participation, with one thing being the prevention of items made region from coming into U.S.

“In addition, each member of the force labor enforcement task force can recommend entities to be added to that list, even if this not something that’s clearly based in the Xinjiang region.”

Dyer says as goods are continuing to enter the European market, we need to make sure were doing our due diligence and actively engage on it now so we can prevent Americans from unwittingly purchasing these products.


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