View Full Version : Pacific Marines take stand against human trafficking

01-19-06, 06:56 AM
Pacific Marines take stand against human trafficking
MCB Camp Butler
Story by Cpl. Martin R. Harris

CAMP KINSER, OKINAWA, Japan (Jan. 19, 2006) -- In a series of official messages beginning last year, the under secretary of defense and service chiefs directed that all members of the uniformed service complete awareness training in trafficking in humans.

Sex trafficking, only one part of TIP, is defined as taking part in an activity in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. Sex trafficking is illegal for service members stationed abroad.

In a recent message, Brig. Gen. Joseph V. Medina, the deputy commander of Marine Corps Bases Japan, directed that commanders and managers ensure their Marines, sailors, civilian Marines and contractors be trained no later than Jan. 30, 2006.

The Marine Corps takes a "zero tolerance" approach to trafficking in humans. Trafficking in humans is a worldwide problem and is not specific to Marines on Okinawa.
According to the Marine Corps Bases Japan Staff Judge Advocate office, individuals engaging in an activity associated with TIP crimes could be prosecuted and face imprisonment, fines, and other punishments.

Southeast Asia is one part of the world where TIP is a large contributor to the $13 billion-per-year slave trade, which makes Marine Forces Pacific particularly important, explained Col. William Gillespie, Marine Corps Bases Japan inspector.

“Marine Corps Bases Japan, III Marine Expeditionary Force and other services on Okinawa are united in our efforts to prevent and eradicate trafficking in persons,” said Gillespie. “Our role in combating trafficking is to work in collaboration with the host nation authorities and other U.S. Government agencies. We must be vigilant, and if we suspect that a business or activity is engaged in TIP, report it to law enforcement or military officials.”

The leadership in the Pacific is requiring all Marines, sailors, civilians and government contractors to participate in the online training, which can be accessed at /www.marinenet.usmc.mil/portal/; /www.nko.navy.mil; /www.jkddcjmo.org.

“We must ensure that our Marines, sailors and civilian Marines are properly trained and educated to avoid and report TIP incidences,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph V. Medina, commanding general of Marine Corps Bases Japan. “I encourage commanders, senior enlisted and managers to discuss TIP at commander calls, (staff noncommissioned officer) leadership forums and other appropriate venues. I expect leaders to work together in combating TIP, and for all personnel to refrain from activities that promote TIP.”