About the Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Heroes
The landmark federal legislation which defined and outlawed the crime of human trafficking, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), was first passed in 2000. It has been reauthorized several times. Every year since its passage, the United States State Department has released a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The main function of this report is to place countries around the world into tiers of compliance. If their laws and the implementation of those laws are in compliance with the standards set by the TVPA, which is taken as the baseline, then they are given a ranking of the Tier 1. A Tier 2 ranking shows substantial compliance, and a Tier 3 ranking shows little to no compliance. The Report has become a powerful tool for Non-Governmental Organizations, allowing them to pressure their governments to comply with the TVPA, and for the United States Government, which has placed anti-human trafficking as a high priority activity.
It was in 2004 that they started giving awards to anti-human trafficking activists, calling them “Heroes Acting to End Modern-day Slavery.” The first couple years the award was still fairly informal, yet still very important. It became more formalized as the years moved forward, and by 2009 the Heroes were actually coming to the United States for a large reception. They then would tour several cities in the U.S. before returning to their home countries. The population of people who have won this award is diverse: there are lawyers, politicians, police officers, rock stars, nuns, and social workers. They work on a variety of anti-human trafficking projects. Some prosecute traffickers, and others rescue survivors. Some run emergency shelters, and others create high-level policy for countries and organizations. They all share one thing: an incredible dedication to ensuring freedom for all people.
Coming from over 60 countries all around the world, and working on a variety of anti-slavery issues, the TIP Report Heroes are an incredible selection of people who are passionate about ending slavery. The 2015 class of Heroes will be announced alongside the TIP Report, so keep a look out for that in June 2015! In the meantime, make sure to browse www.tipaward.com and hear the stories of today’s great abolitionists.