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Remarks by AIT Director Stephen M. Young at 2008 International Conference on Strategies for Combating Human Trafficking October 30, 2008 (as Prepared for Delivery)

OT0814E | Date: 2008-10-30

It is a pleasure to be here to welcome you today to this international conference on combating trafficking. Forums such as this one are important in highlighting ways in which we can work together locally and internationally in our fight against this global tragedy.

I would like to recognize the efforts of the organizers of this conference, the National Immigration Agency, along with local and international NGOs such as Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, the Taiwan Association to End Child Prostitution (ECPAT - Taiwan), Oxfam Quebec International, and CARAM Cambodia, local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and others, who are working to raise awareness and to assist victims of human trafficking.

We applaud and support your efforts.

Taiwan has made great strides in its attempts to combat human trafficking, stepping up efforts to prosecute traffickers, instituting measures to grant trafficking victims temporary work and residency permits, and collaborating with non-government organizations to raise public awareness and improve services, shelter, and counseling provided to victims.

While Taiwan has made important progress in recent years, there is still more to do, including passing the draft comprehensive trafficking law which will soon go before the Legislative Yuan, standardizing implementation of victim protections, and strengthening coordination across agencies.

This is one of the most important human rights issues of the 21st century, and the United States, including AIT, is committed to working with our friends here on Taiwan and throughout the world in combating this global problem.

Therefore, it is with great pleasure that we welcome our colleague from the U.S. Department of Justice, James Felte, who can provide many insights based on his experience as a senior prosecutor in the Department of Justice's Human Trafficking Unit.

We also look forward to hearing from our colleagues in the international NGO community, whose extensive experience on the ground will provide an important perspective on how these new measures affect the most vulnerable among us - the victims of trafficking.

Not least, we are excited to hear from our colleagues on the front lines of the fight against trafficking - the professional staff of the National Immigration Agency, the National Police Agency, the Council of Labor Affairs, Banciao District Prosecutors Office and the Ministry of Justice.

Director's Speeches