Riga, September 5, 2019 – U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Latvia Paul Poletes hosted a lunch on September 5 in honor of Ms. Brigita Dreiže of the anti-trafficking working group in Liepāja. During the lunch, Chargé Poletes presented a certificate to Ms. Dreiže in honor of her nomination for the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report Hero Award. The U.S. Embassy nominated Ms. Dreiže for the award based on her ongoing efforts to prevent trafficking and to provide anti-trafficking training to a large number of professionals and community activists.
As U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this year, “…trafficking is not inevitable. If governments, businesses, civil society, faith communities, survivors, and everyone bands together, it can be stopped.” This is especially true thanks to the efforts of Latvians like Ms. Dreiže, whose dedication, professionalism, and service is an example to us all “in a fight for freedom.”
The U.S. Department of State has produced the Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) since 2001. Required by law under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), the TIP Report provides an assessment of the efforts by foreign governments to combat human trafficking. The TIP Report is released in Washington, D.C. each June.
As a part of the TIP Report, the Department of State honors individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking by awarding them the TIP Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery Award. The TIP Report Heroes often include NGO staff and government officials, from lawmakers to police officers, who are committed to ending modern slavery. They are recognized for their tireless efforts—despite resistance, opposition, and threats—to protect victims, punish offenders, and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad. To date, more than 110 individuals have received this award. Learn more about these heroes at http://www.tipheroes.org/