Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of State’s release of its 2011 Trafficking In Persons Report:
“Human trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor and military service is modern day slavery, and ending this atrocious practice is one of the great causes of our time. Today, I commend Secretary Clinton and the State Department for highlighting this issue through its annual report on human trafficking.
“This important report is a chilling reminder of how prevalent this dehumanizing practice is all over the world. Not surprisingly, the countries where human trafficking is most pervasive are those where democracy is non-existent and where basic human rights are routinely violated. I am pleased that this year’s report recognizes the need to move beyond merely enacting laws and into resolutely prosecuting these criminal activities and support for its victims. I am also concerned that Florida is disproportionately affected by this scourge, requiring our own vigilance.
“Later this year, the U.S. Senate and House must re-authorize the ‘Trafficking Victims Protection Act.’ This will be an opportunity to build on our gains in combating this issue and further strengthen the law, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on it.
“This issue further highlights the need for our country to solve our debt problem and ensure that we can continue bringing to bear the full weight of our economic, diplomatic and legal resources to combat this issue at home and abroad. No matter where they are in the world, the victims of human trafficking need a strong America that is willing and able to take their cause as our own.”