Comments on the Trafficking in Persons Report

This article sensationalized the recent 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, and brought the ire of local anti-trafficking expert John Vanek. According to John: the comment that “the recently released 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, the United States and Mexico had the greatest amount of trafficking in the world was taken out of context. I finally got around to examining the new TIP Report and found the source of this erroneous statement. In the Country Narrative for the United States, page 491, it states: ‘victims originate from almost every region of the world, the top three countries of origin of federally identified victims in FY 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Phillipines.’ This means that victims of HT identified by federal agencies (assuming federally-funded local task forces and service providers) were mostly U.S. citizens, which makes complete sense. Mexican citizens were the second largest group,and Filipinos were the third largest group. Since the report uses the phrase ‘countries of origin’ instead of ‘citizens of’, this could also be understood to mean this is where the victims came from, e.g., maybe a citizen from Central American country was living in Mexico and their traffickers brought them into the United States from there. So the phase isn’t particularly clear.” “As with all data and estimates regarding human trafficking it is important to look for the subtleties. We don’t need greater confusion than we already have”! The article that caught his attention is here, and the link to the TIP Report is here.