Sunday, January 22, 2012

U.S. officials visit Burma to open dialogue regarding human trafficking

This past December, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton visited Burma, also known as Myanmar, in a start to a tentative rebuilding of relations after 50 years of estrangement between the two countries.

Secretary Clinton met with the Burmese Prime Minister and parliament officials in the new capital of Naypyitaw. She also met with the pro-democratic opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest in November 2010 after nearly 15 years.

In addition, 651 imprisoned political activists were freed and received amnesty from the Burmese government on January 13, 2012. This marks an important step in the right direction for democracy and social change in a one of the world's most reclusive countries.

Earlier this month, Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, also traveled to Burma and met with Burmese leaders to discuss reforms and efforts to combat trafficking and forced labor. Since the of the annual Trafficking in Persons Report was created by the U.S. Department of State, Burma has received the lowest Tier 3 ranking each year. In a press conference from the U.S. Embassy in Burma, Ambassador CdeBaca candidly discussed conversations with Burmese leaders, what improvements are being made to combat modern slavery and what still needs to take place.

 Click to read the full Q&A media session with Ambassador CdeBaca.  I highly suggest reading it.

Pro-democratic opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton meets with Aung San Suu Kyi

U.S. special ambassadors Derek Mitchell, left, and Lois CdeBaca, right, and Aung San Suu Kyi after talks at her home in Rangoon. Photo: Mizzima

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