U.S. Government Speeches
Remarks by Deputy Attorney General James Cole at the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Class Graduation Philippine National Police Headquarters, Camp Crame, Quezon City, Philippines, November 4, 2011
Police Deputy Director General Arturo Cacdac, Jr., Police Chief Superintendent Charles Calima, Jr., PNP Training Service staff, ICITAP Philippines staff, Distinguished guests, ladies & gentlemen, Trafficking in Persons class graduates; I would also like to recognize our Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Without their funding and support, classes such as this Trafficking in Persons course would not be possible.
Magandang hapon (good afternoon) and thank you all.
I would also like to thank the United States Embassy in the Philippines and Ambassador Harry K Thomas, Jr., both for the steadfast support of the U.S. Justice Department and our multiple components in the Philippines and moreover, for his leadership in directing a collaborative approach among embassy sections and entities within the government of the Philippines to enhance the overall capacity of law enforcement.
It is a special honor to have this opportunity to speak with you about a subject I care deeply about – the trafficking of our fellow humans. The evil of human trafficking unfortunately continues to plague all societies and is something the U.S Justice Department and all legitimate law enforcement authorities around the world are keenly interested in dismantling. Like other transnational crime, human trafficking produces ill-effects across national borders and is fundamentally offensive to the values held throughout the international community. Enforcement efforts are often complicated as a consequence of transnational criminals’ mobility, non-reporting of the crime, and the invisibleness of its victims.
Within the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world, there are many vulnerable women and children being bought and sold every day by human traffickers. Too often, unsuspecting and unwilling victims are forced into prostitution and indentured servitude – nothing less than modern day slavery that predominately targets women, girls, and boys. These victims deserve justice and they urgently need our help. Mostly, they need a hero.
They need a hero that will bring to justice those that have wronged them. One who will treat them honestly, fairly, and with abundant compassion. One who will not turn the other cheek, or look away from their pain. One to free them from their bonds, be their voice when they are afraid to speak, and who has the tenacity to search for them, find them, and free them. They indeed need you, and they need your heroism.
In many circumstances, victims of human trafficking are afraid, poorly educated, poverty stricken and, unfortunately, their eventual absence often goes unreported. In an effort to create better lives for themselves and their families, TIP victims often place themselves at great risk. They unwittingly place themselves under the exploitive control of traffickers. Consequently, once bound, victims often become quiet and withdrawn – afraid to cry out for help – typically experiencing an escalating parallel of fear and dependence. And, although they may be seen by many, few will recognize their victimization… their pain…their despair. And, for those few that may notice, most lack the courage to help. We hope you have gained the knowledge that will enable you to recognize the signs of trafficking. Ultimately however, the most important ingredient in confronting this problem is having the courage to act.
Effectively combating Trafficking in Persons demands the traditional three Ps in law enforcement; Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution. I would suggest there’s an equally important fourth P; that of Partnership. We can accurately state that our two countries have made significant progress against human trafficking by working together. The United States continues to partner with the Philippines in our common fight against human trafficking. Let us hope that all in the international community diligently strive to harness the necessary will and resources to make this latest form of human slavery a crime of the past…Such is the fine example of the recently revamped Philippine National Police integrated TIP investigation protocol.
Thank you for having me here today but more importantly thank you for taking the time to educate yourselves about one of the most fundamental challenges facing all modern law enforcement entities today – the exploitation of its most vulnerable citizens. By working to prevent the trafficking of those we serve, to protect TIP victims, and to provide the best investigative case possible to prosecutors, we will improve the rule of law for all. Everyone has a role to play in this serious fight and I commend you for being on the front lines.
Congratulations to the graduates and I wish you all well.
Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much).