THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 15, 2000
Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons
Today, in furtherance of the President?s International Crime Control
Strategy, the Departments of State and Justice announced the establishment
of a Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons Coordination Center.
While at their core distinct, these related problems result in massive
human tragedy and affect our national security, primarily with respect to
crime, health and welfare, and border control.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants are moved by
international smuggling organizations, often in harsh or even inhumane
conditions, from their countries of origin to the United States. United
Nations estimates indicate that migrant smuggling has grown to a $7 billion
dollar annual global criminal industry.
An estimated 700,000 to two million women and children are trafficked
globally each year. Trafficking victims suffer egregious human rights
abuses. The poverty and the relative powerlessness of women in many
countries create an endless supply of victims for this modern-day form of
slavery. Trafficking also is exacerbating the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis
and other infectious diseases, making it a significant public health issue
The Center is intended to achieve greater integration and overall
effectiveness in U.S. government enforcement and other response efforts.
The Center will bring together representatives from the policy, law
enforcement, intelligence, and diplomatic communities in one central
location, thereby furthering interagency information sharing and
coordination. The Center also will promote intensified efforts by foreign
governments and international organizations to combat migrant smugglers and
those who traffic in persons. The Center will work closely with existing
U.S. government entities with policy and law enforcement coordination
responsibilities that separately address migrant smuggling and trafficking
In performing this mission, the Center will help to advance the three
primary objectives of the U.S. Government strategy to counter migrant
smuggling and trafficking in persons: (1) prevent and deter smuggling and
trafficking activity; (2) investigate and prosecute the criminals involved
in this activity; and (3) protect and assist victims as provided in
applicable law and policy.