On June 18, 2014, Meridian was honored to co-host, along with the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, an intimate dinner to celebrate the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes. Meridian’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Salvatore Pappalardo, was joined by The Honorable Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, along with Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Sarah Sewall, in sharing welcome remarks with the group. The salon dinner offered guests the opportunity to share diverse perspectives and engage in thoughtful conversation on the priorities for the global movement to combat trafficking in persons.
During their U.S. visit, the Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes met with previous alumni of the same program, along with their U.S.-based colleagues based in Washington, D.C. Following the visit to our nation’s capital, the Heroes headed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they explored social services offered to victims of trafficking, along with task force prevention efforts. The group’s final U.S. stop was Los Angeles, California, where they explored the legal services, neighbourhood programs and outreach assistance offered to trafficked persons.
About the Trafficking in Persons Report and Heroes
The Trafficking in Persons Report, published each year in June, is considered the benchmark index for global anti-trafficking efforts, as it ranks 188 nations according to their willingness and efforts to combat trafficking and slavery. It is an important diplomatic tool in the U.S. government’s efforts to engage foreign governments in the battle against human trafficking, and serves as the guide on U.S. foreign assistance for governments and NGOs in countries working to eradicate trafficking. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry unveiled the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on June 20, 2014. Secretary Kerry also honored the 2014 TIP Report Heroes, 10 men and women whose tireless efforts have made a lasting impact on the global fight against modern slavery. These individuals are NGO workers, lawmakers, police officers, and concerned citizens who are committed to protect victims, punish offenders, and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad - despite resistance, opposition, and threats to their lives.