This week, the US state department launched its annual Trafficking in Persons (Tip) report, grading the scale and severity of people-trafficking and other forms of modern-day slavery in 188 countries and territories.
Widely acknowledged as the world’s most comprehensive and influential assessment of global anti-trafficking efforts, the Tip report is a potentially powerful advocacy and campaigning tool for anti-slavery groups working both in country and internationally.
Since 2001, the Tip report has been the US’ principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on the issue of trafficking and slavery within their own borders. Using a three-tier system, the US state department ranks how countries are complying with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. It offers a detailed analysis of credible evidence of people trafficking and slavery within each country, any counter-trafficking efforts being undertaken and a series of suggestions for how the situation could and should improve.
“The Tip report is an incredibly useful tool for anyone working in the anti-slavery sector,” says Steve Trent, chief executive of the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF). “It is a blunt instrument to force through change and a strong platform in delivering credible information that looks at solid evidence in an objective light with the weight of what is still the most powerful nation on earth behind it. As an advocacy tool you don’t get much better than that.”