Chris Smith and Katherine Chon
DescriptionOn the 20th anniversary of passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Representative Chris Smith (68) speaks with his colleague in anti-trafficking work, Katherine Chon [no age given] about his role in writing and passing the bill. He talks about how he learned about human trafficking and speaks to the importance of the work of non-profit and faith-based organizations in collaboration with government policies.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Chris Smith
- Katherine Chon
Recording LocationVirtual Recording
Partnership TypeFee for Service
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00:03 Hello, my name is Katherine Chon. Today's date is Friday, May 14th, 2021. I'm in Washington DC and the name of my recording partner and colleague and leader in the fields of human. Trafficking is Congressman Christopher Smith.
00:29 My name is Chris Smith on 68th. And today's date is Friday, May 14th, 2021. I'm in the United States Capitol in Washington DC recording with a cat or Catherine. I thank you. And we are doing a historical remembrance. So some of the important issues relating to traffic.
00:53 Congressman Smith, thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to have this conversation and reflection on the trafficking victims protection act, 20 years in. Over the last 20 years, you seen the fruits of the legislative Vision that you and your colleagues have laid out through this.
01:15 Critical piece of legislation, the trafficking victims protection act and last year, at the 20th year, commemoration, IU hosted and participated in many of them and send Communications reflecting on our national progress. And today, the purpose of our conversation is to provide a space for a more personal level of reflection on what motivated you to act on this issue. How you have personally reflected on the last 20 years in this field. And and I just recall my first recollection of reading your name on a piece of paper was as a college student's learning, first about human trafficking and wondering, is anyone doing anything about this issue? And then reading about the trafficking victims protection act and I was not a policy oriented person at the time but
02:15 One of the few pieces of legislation that I read because I wanted to understand who is doing what to protect people, who are often invisible and underserved. And so I was just curious, just to start off with when you were younger, who were Your Role Models growing up, first, and foremost. It was my parents ordered and Katherine Smith. My father was a World War II, combat veteran and just had a heart of gold as did. My mother was always as gracious as one could be, and then head, very strong faith in God and they believe that we were our brothers and sisters, Keepers ankle, K them, both my brothers and I The Idea Public Service no matter where it is Manifest itself that we should serve people. Not the other way around. Be served. We should serve others and we were taught the scriptures early on.
03:15 Particularly Matthew 25 that carry for those who are downtrodden naked in prison, the least of our Brethren. And of course, when our lord said, the least of our brother and he was talking about situation, like these were all kings and queens in Exile before we're in the next life. And any idea that that see people for how they could be. We don't have their lot in their situation improved cuz we could all get that. But but the most vulnerable in the weakest are the ones that I've worked on my entire career, I need it before coming into Congress, 41 years ago. So it's, so it's so my parents were My Greatest Inspiration.
03:59 So public service was instilled in you from a very young age. Do you have a recollection of your one of your first moments of Public Service? What was that? Like this injury question would ever ask me? I actually got involved with the pro-life movement. Again, talk to you about people who are at risk and vulnerable. And I would say both mother and unborn child are at risk. And that's what got me into working on world, hunger, disability, rights issues, human rights issues and but it was in college that I really began to realize that faith has a consequence. And the consequence again is all about public service and people who are at risk and vulnerable, need our greatest attention.
04:49 And you serve many decades in Congress now. And when you think back to starting your public service, your Congressional service, and everything that you've learned along the way and what you know now, is there anything, you know, now that you wish you would have known then, or you would tell that younger version of yourself. Just starting out. That's another great questions. I would probably the greatest principal it needs to be brought to bear on wall. Making his persistence. No ear issue. I write my own speeches. I love to write a letter to write up a heads up as if I like speeches. And I have found over the years that, you know, really knowledge is power. If you really do really try to master all the details and keep a vision on on what the what the goal is. You can stay at something until it comes to fruition. And one example is international baggage long. That's okay. Here's to get into law.
05:49 It was passed by the house three times. Couldn't get it out of the Senate and it's having a major impact. Now that it is law on protecting children abroad as well as hear the other states from predators mother said that I found loss and still have not become law. Is the Vietnam human rights act three times pass by the house. I just reintroduced recently and we're going to go until this law persistence in the end that whole idea of never quitting the greatest disappointment. I've had in politics and it is a profound one is the lack of Truth in rhetoric. On the part of the song. I would never point fingers, but they're people who you just know. They must know what they're saying, isn't true. The 30-second commercials that we see in campaigns and they and the smears it happens. So often that that has no place in politics civil discourse ordered be done in a respectful manner, even when somebody disagrees with you and does not return the respect.
06:49 Respect them, anyway.
06:53 And I know one thing that another might not have done that when I got elected, but I already pretty quickly is the power and the the insights that can be divided by ngos, faith-based community, in the stakeholders that he sleeping braids and weave, whatever that issue might be. And we see it now with with trafficking you over the years, a number of groups formed, they become experts in parts of the trafficking challenge. Some know-it-all that many to take me to her more focused, you with protection, or on the prosecution side or prevention, and that wisdom needs to be packed and then molded into a policy, Weatherby does administrative leave over by legislation and though and we're never done. There's always another challenge and that's part of the appeal of this job. Is that
07:53 The moment, there's disappointing moments, there's moments of great relief. And then and in gratitude, never never a dull moment and speaking of the importance of stakeholders and learning from survivors and others impacted by, by any issue. But on this issue, are there any particular stories that jump out to you when you first started learning about human trafficking? Well, I began around 1995, and it really wasn't my work on behalf of Soviet Jews, religious freedom issues Christians and others were being persecuted. In, these countries including Soviet Union. My first trip, was a 1982 to present to to make prisoners of conscience. Some of whom had just gotten out of the garage and shot in the Moscow and Leningrad, you know, the importance of securing from the victims because you know that
08:53 Shape how we address the issue because it's all should be let them centered. So that there are other victims but also to help I'm ever in the laws for of them torture victims. And what got me the most is, when I had hearings and hurts and torture victims. And now here in my office, as well, as well as out in other countries, when they tell their story realize what she really is, and I'll help us and how how debilitating, how cruel torture in the greatest. Really, really is for those who suffer it and where there be a right-wing and left-wing, this matter what the dictatorship might be. It hurts just as much and importance of trying to convey to them. That's why I'm a big fan of Radio. Free Asia is freedom broadcasting of all kinds because without hope the people do Irish, it says in the scriptures and and and people do get hope that yes my plate.
09:53 Well-known or known at least a bit somewhere, including United States, from the very beginning, adopted political prisoners causes. And, and if the key is to really learn from the victims and in people like nighttime sharansky and so many others who suffered so much and then they never become great forces once liberated as well as when they're behind doors, in in the nineties. I met with the number of women my wife and I never said, who have been traffic. And I remember one particular trip to st. Petersburg Russia where I offered the first resolution at the osce Parliamentary assembly on combating human trafficking and it did pass 1999. There was, we met with a number of women who have been traffic to Mira Mesa Mall together for us and we spent hours listening to their stories of being. So cruelly mistreated raped and these were women who want
10:53 No one ever to suffer what they had suffered. I invited two of those women to come the United States. They testified, you could have heard a pin drop. Everybody has to end us men and women were at my hearing and Nate were also for family Touch by what they said. And there is was an appeal, don't look the other way. I don't you think. Well, there's nothing we can do it. Yes. It's a lot we can do. We need to go after demand and the entitlement concept. It's out there that too many people. You know, how many guys, especially when it comes to sex trafficking Embrace, and just think this is what the woman indoors by that kind of exploitation. And it actually helped get our trafficking victims protection act pissed because it was not easy, getting that passed. Most of it was supposed and people will forget this, but I had only hearing so I know it's the truth. Too much is a tip-off.
11:53 What's the temperature Port sanctions against countries? There was some agreement on the interagency task force and other issues. But much of the traffic was opposed by the administration at that time, but it was for subcommittees and eleventh eleventh step in for full committee. I had to go to every one of those chairman there was an educational curb. We work very closely with the house leadership or dick armey was in the majority leader and was very helpful and his staff. And one by one, we persuaded then Mark of the bill or wave markup and, and, and agree to it. And it took well over a year of intense negotiations. We finally got it past then we waited another year as it went through the Senate, but that's the other that's where that persistent principal comes in, but they wanted
12:53 Greatest takeaways is, everyone should know that they can make a difference wherever you are. You can make a difference. I believe it. All starts with prayer, Pray for the weak and vulnerable and the victim's, pray for Solutions, and then find a way working with an NGO, a working in your church or synagogue or mosque or somewhere to make a difference on a key issue like about a human trafficking and just education the educating, the guys in the area of the businessmen and women in the area, forced labor chair, 29 hearings directed exclusively human trafficking over the years and then another 50 where traffic was a part of it. So, a lot of hearing and one of those big takeaways that don't assume that ceo-7. So really is up to date on this or maybe he or she doesn't want to know but often they're there they need to be educated and then there's a
13:53 Are good people out there. When when confronted with a harsh reality will say, I want no part of that. I don't want to be complicit and enforced Labour or human trafficking of any kind. So that's a positive thing that comes out of that early on. Not everyone was immediately on board and, you know, there's so much more we know about human trafficking. Now that people didn't know back then, like, what was it that started convincing people. Was it? The sheer Persistence of going door-to-door and talking to people about this issue where there are other factors that convinced your colleagues to take action and support this piece of legislation, the great questions, you know, my first initiative was a child labor bill that passed the house totally bipartisan. And I really believe that
14:53 Listen ship across the aisle, find finding common. Ground is a major key to success and success in implementing as well. And I get this bill passed, I had to hear, is Robert Reich. Was in labor. Secretary. We had, we had the number of very, very cute witnesses. That they finally got the bill passed and then it had holes on it and send it. And never got saw the light of day and it died that convinced me. And that's what I kind of sore read. It said how could they have stopped providing additional funding to the ILO? Which does great work on combating child, labor and labor rights and in general and it was the reason and that made me say I'm the traffic in 50 protection act. We will not take no for an answer and where to get this past matter how many years it takes and I thought it would take a whole lot of years and it did take two terms of concept. I started in about 1995. I used to talk to u.s. Attorney's including my own.
15:53 Trafficking and they always defaulted to drugs and weapons of women and men in children through human trafficking and and it was always a Blank Stare. No, not really doing anything and frankly, a penalty for trafficking, as we know it now was almost nil. So, from a prosecutorial point of view, US, attorney's, and others would even try to bring a case because when you going to get a slap on the wrist for those who buy and sell women and that it was a terrible, you that was changed in the glare of protocol helped a lot on this as well that anyone who had not at age, eight age of 18 should be, you know, being exported to a commercial sector of the deaf person. Does that exploitation should be held accountable for trafficking?
16:53 And you know, don't hold the victim responsible. And if there's an element of force Florida, corrosion after the age of 18 in like manner, don't hold the victim responsible for that was the sea change that. That and that took a lot of work cuz they were people who I never even on the international front, talking to some diplomats in a bilateral and I was promoting the idea that I'm passing a law, that would look like a horse and one of the men, there's a weather just prostitute and I just kind of stood up and said that's somebody's daughter that some young woman who deserve to be treated like that and exploited and break. So even if they're there on simulate their own volition, we need to help her as well, to get out of that. But so often somewhere along that Lee thinks they continue. Mm. She had been coerced exploded in some way, and we got to make sure we did that. So, you're having the victims speak out, and to do so.
17:53 It was a game-changer in terms of policy-making because it did bring everyone's Focus. But then we got a lot of pushback. From some of the media are exaggerating numbers that we were solution in search of a problem, including the Washington Post and everything writing, an article that somehow we are exaggerating the numbers. I got the numbers for my first bill from the US Department of State and they did their level best to be accurate. Now, these are guesstimate but even if it's one, but it was not what we're talkin. So many more that woman or man or child needs to be protected. And so that kind of dismissing of the issue was occurring earlier on. And then I learned from the failure of my child labor bill that I was not going to let this one fail and then I reached out to members of the Senate SM to Spotify and people tell me no, but I could never write a book someday. We need to name their name, but I very high little people and it was kind of surprised.
18:53 It wasn't cuz it was made. We got along very well. So but that wouldn't happen today. And that's a good thing. Everybody is I think I'm the same page. Ngos are having a good outsized impact on policy each and every day government all around the world, the trip reports and you don't, you could cut this for the story if you want, but the administration was against the tip report. They were against sanctions. They wanted to just put additional language into the country ports on human rights practices and they understood the assistant secretary for democracy, Labour and human rights testify and said that. He said it would, it could be counterproductive to have a focus on trafficking. That was such a bright line, a type of issues where you either you do. And I argue, you know, when any human rights issue when you really make it an issue.
19:48 It's in devote. A lot of clarity to it, a lot of life and of course, consequences like sanctions, that's when you get results, the 60 for civil rights and proof of that. Once there were sanctions. It went along with the admonishments that are in the law of a sudden, you're going to lose out now and funding. If you don't, you know, it's just women or a Trader or employment minorities and it says they were things like apartheid in South Africa. I was for the sanction on a part that you were many people who weren't the only was it such an Abomination. We got to draw a line in the sand and it's a not now not ever and we can stop it or at least mitigate its occurrence. We need to do it.
20:34 And one of the benefits of the issue of human trafficking, you mentioned this several times is a bipartisan, the very strong bipartisan support in early on. You worked with Senator wellstone and send Senator Brown. Back. You've worked with representative Maloney's, many members of Congress on on both sides of the political aisle. What was that? Like, how was that at the time? Was it normative, to have such bipartisan support early on. I'm thinking of senator wellstone in the Legacy that he left in part on the support and co-sponsorship on this issue. Like any any Reflections on you don't have that was like, no. I I think the bipartisanship was absolutely critical to moving the legislation. I mean, we have divided government then we have it now.
21:34 And there were, there were concerns that the bill might even be veto.
21:40 Oh and there were a lot of people waiting with the White House to make sure cuz we're at the end of the session. It wouldn't be done by way of a video. Would have been a pocket. Pita was the end session come back next year. Take a second. Look at it above that didn't happen. But did I left out is the same day. Jensen was the prime co-sponsor of my bill when it finally came along and a sandwich from Connecticut. And I worked on the other human rights issues together. We had disagreements on other things. It was just it was a great and lettos Tom Lantos. I was chairman of the human rights committee. He was chairman of the committee where each other's ranking members as the majority shifted to Houston ever. A Democrat to Republican vice versa and that we get along great. We worked together on many issues and human rights issues travel together all over the world. Take me to the Baltic countries into the Russia and end. So those kinds of friendships and mutual respect.
22:40 Helps us work out the legislation as well. You don't turn tub language in, what's doable? You know, what will, what can we have cheap? And if we can't, what are we? Come back next time and in do. And if you know what I learn trafficking victims, protection act, 2002 reauthorization of a 305 and a lot of what we could not get in those early years plus Lessons Learned. We just pulled into the next one, like making the director and Ambassador at large. That was done in the 03 act, we made sure that peacekeeping was included because that was not included in earlier ones, but that was because we to learn that un peacekeepers NATO peacekeepers down. As many, of course, he wins the largest osce. I had some of the people who work in the peacekeeping area, but especially you, when we're we're abusing children all over the world, especially Dr. Congo for hearings. I went over there with the peacekeepers that with the UN had jhole. Luke come and testify within a magnificent job about how they had a zero tolerance.
23:40 Policy and it was not much compliance. We became part of trying to get the international organization, called the United Nations to be serious about it, but then we folded that into our that we would make sure the peacekeepers and there's well over a hundred thousand of them. It happened in Haiti and have another places where the people that are there to protect blue helmets. Become those, which boy and Dr. Congo was probably the worst. So I know you will you learn a lot of good things that have happened as a result of that. So but the bipartisanship is Ben, I think
24:22 And when you reflect on the last 20 years and look at the broad spectrum of the field and its Evolution, whether it's the work of the federal government, local government, Community organizations, and even the international stakeholders. Do you think when you thought of you had the vision with your colleagues of the original trafficking, victims protection, act, and further strengthening that bill. Have we accomplished? Are we where we are? You thought we would be your? You would want us to be as a broader field. Well, as a burger question, your every year that if we poured puts a compilation of no convictions as well as those who have been prosecuted, every narrative, every country has the number cuz that's the road headed to the minimum standards. How do you get rated tier-1 tier-2 watch list or tier 3? The worst of all the data calls.
25:22 Fire. Then that there's accountability if it's all hidden under the table. Yeah, we're all for you, but you're not really doing it when you got numbers like injections and prosecutions and jail terms. We found the early on that. There were people who were, you know, allegations were brought that then they wouldn't go to jail. Well, hello, you, you white people in such a cruel way. You better go away for a long time. And so we updated the minimum standards and that way to catch that because if somebody can game, the system is very clever, governments are going to do it. And what did I say is? I Like You with George Bush to George W. Bush was that he actually put two of our best allies on tier 3. That was South Korea and Israel, which made them liable to losing the security Aid and all kinds of other right now. United serenade. They don't need it there, you know, and and when we did that, I met with the amassed.
26:22 That every month and they said, you can get off to your three real quick. Close down the brothels to stop the trafficking that is exploding in your country's and they both did it South Korea past. The number of very, very fine laws as it is real, the knesset. They close these places down and they earned going to tier one, which is where they are now. And I think it shows it. And there have been times, frankly, where the tear ratings were.
26:56 Manipulated, for other political game that I held hearings on him. So it's not like I'm saying you what I didn't say the time at one point during the Obama years. They were fourteen countries in the Warriors, broke this story, where the tip off is it recommended a lower rating, including tier 3, and they got upgrades in order to facilitate some other agenda. You don't do that when you're talkin about exploiting women and I asked John Terry of the hearing, who, okay, that, and it goes, I did the buck stops here is there was a huge mistake. So I didn't hear either one of those next time. Get it right out there in the tip report that you don't speak. Truth to power Friend or Foe, be absolutely clear and honest and then people will trust it as well. I remember the people in Malaysia tell me, you know, they are they were upgraded and ended the Thai delegation came to this office and said, you know, they've been upgraded so they can be in the TPP trade agreement. And yeah, we're down at tier 3.
27:56 You know, it makes us wonder whether or not you're being honest in your proceedings. And so I have
28:04 All the time said. I don't care if the country is our best friend is certainly Israeli, South Korea. Are you got to speak truth to power cuz friends don't let friends met you and rights abuses. And then again, we're kind of like a mirror for the trip report. And again, as a country of of every ethnicity on the face of the Earth. We have a unique position to Advocate on behalf of everybody else. Because we're all here from everywhere, and I think that's one of our greatest strength. That's kind of diversity. So, yo, cuz I had lots of pushback from countries. Can I do meet with foreign diplomats all the time? Who are we to lecture is the one we look at ourselves as well, and attorney general's report doesn't cost a ticket for it, but we don't want your women and men and children being exploited. Remember that got the Russians when I walk the resolution 1999 at the Saint Petersburg first, whatever I've done. $0.21. And I'm just up for
29:04 Trafficking at the osce Parliamentary assembly, the Russians were very angry. They said you're doing this to embarrass them. I said, you want Russian women being raped in Berlin, New York, even parts of New Jersey, as part of a sex-trafficking. We're trying to protect your women. The next year, the Russian delegation, the head of the Duma spoke on behalf of my resolution with that. I've offered in Bucharest and then I did come around, you know, they have other problems, of course on their booty, but you can come around and Champa. Then yeah, I remember right around that time when South Korea was put on that list, some Korean American. And at the time, when I was at Polaris non-government organization, there were some non-government organizations from South Korea that had reached out. Because finally, the government was starting to take this seriously and their Ministry of gender. Equality was looking at this and, and there was track,
30:03 And both at the government level and at the Grassroots and Community level. So that's indications. When policy-making, can really help put more attention on, on these issues, especially in parts of the world where there's more invisibility. And when you mentioned, a lot of you mentioned a lot around the importance of fact, gathering information gathering, understanding transparency, accountability and the persistence to cut through all that resistance. And so, I'm just so curious, like, how have you been able to maintain your levels of persistence? The resilience that was required to convince so many people to come alongside on this issue? And so if persistence is such a critical ingredient to change, do you have any
31:03 Tips on for individuals who are working on social change. Now to like, what motivated you during your Darkest Hours. It was my face and my wife and a team of professionals who work with me in my office that, that we sharpen each other. In terms of our efforts. We carry each other and the ngos always play a great role. Both the face base, as well as the. Faith-based and that's a source of inspiration. I pray all the time. I'm not trying to press the guys, but, but I pray for the victims, I pray for Solutions way forward. If we will, we hit bottlenecks legislatively or policy, y, n n. I really believe that, you know, if you just
31:55 Persist, you do realize that you may have to decide a straight line to success to go around the side and whoever it might have any effort, you do get to a better outcome and just briefly again on the South Korean just shows you where things can happen. Cuz I do a lot of believer in that things just happen by happenstance. I'll never forget after we got the bill passed and GDP a man came in from Ohio, who is the prosecutor, but also a reporter. And he was tracking down and trying to figure out why. So many women from South Korea. We're ending up in Ohio in the sex trafficking trade and
32:43 You know, that started a whole day, do the networking. How, how are they getting their? We brought all of that to the administration at the time. That was George W bush, but then we also, he showed me a tape of undercover that he had done in a bar in Soul and added where American g. I s c p police round front for Force protection and there were mostly women, some Russians, and Indigenous the South Koreans and others being exploited. And on tape. He had them saying, how, you know, we can't leave here. They took our passports, we came under a Visa, that was supposed to say was called an entertainment. Visa. Once we got here, we're stocking will be beating the believe. I got it over to the
33:44 I asked by way of letter, that there be an investigation into South Korea and any us troop complicity, as well as in Bosnia and elsewhere around the world where there were other very, very serious, allegations investigation and general report was asked who I was. Well, he took on the case very strongly and started putting certain place is off-limits to to servicemen in the US servicemen and all the sudden those places when belly up because and and and it's good enforcement of anti-trafficking Twilight, a general report to hearings and he has his testimony without standing for the military. Got into the issue of Joseph, Smith's TIG his report called for zero tolerance and sure enough. Bush than issued an executive order, a memorandum for zero tolerance.
34:44 Trafficking and it made an actionable under the uniform code of military justice, as well as prostitution, because the two or so inexplicably of the line of demarcation, so often blurred, and again, those women are being exploited as well. And that is the law of the land has been made stronger from the Pentagon about what they should be doing. I did try to do an assistant secretary for combating human trafficking & Pfeil. I had it in a Big Bill and separate bill and I'm still trying to get that one cuz I do think not only does that help us in our own military. And again, there's, there's there's trafficking tickly in the area. Not your sex drive. He would labor trafficking and it always free. I wrote it to the 2003 act. Then every contract will have a clause and signing on the Claus will be a CEO or someone else.
35:44 Ability to the responsible person and a corporation understand, they will lose the contract. They going to be prosecuted. If they are complicit in any way in traffic. Now that wasn't as important as we would have liked over these years. It was updating 2012, but it is set in motion this idea that we can't look askance with Contracting or anywhere else. And I noticed that the test has some recommendations for even improving even more this whole idea of a huge purchaser of goods and services for the US government and to make sure that we are not in any way of the supply chain that is soiled by trafficking with his executive order.
36:34 Unn one reason why I think the assistant secretary would work so well and having her office. Is that is that my talk to military is? Everywhere? I go around the world that is done conferences, with me with your top generals on traffic, and I know what military is he in. But when you have cured appear military people talk in the military people, the ability to get that message, across that soldiers, do not exploit women. And they do not engage in in force labor either and it has an enormous impact, but we're still trying to get that, then assistant secretary ship,, a lot of this work around Supply chains and forced labor, kind of comes full circle to your entry point of work, trying to pass that child labor law hourly on.
37:32 So we're at the 20-year Mark post trafficking victims protection act and another 30 years like 50 years in to that initial Vision. How do you think the world will be different? And you mentioned, you're a grandfather like for your grandparents or grandchildren's generation on words. Like what what what do you hope the world would look like when it comes to how it may intersect with this issue of human trafficking. I do think the more empowered, our young people are, which is why the last law that I did, did an emphasis on situational training for young people in elementary, and secondary schools College to, and there is a project that came out of it, a different day is r. H. S best practices what to teach do that. At least,
38:25 The deception part can be lessened because you know what the traffickers doing, you know how they're manipulating, how they might use drugs to, to overcome any resistance, on the part of the victim. And you know, Towing power remains in prevention. I think one of the greatest tools, it needs to be done even more churches need to be using their platforms to face base entities to spread that word from the pulpit or whatever my day. But in the school, that's where I think we can make a major difference. And then, you know, I've never had hearings on John schools and it is in
39:09 I learned a lot from those hearings in from talking to people involved in that that you got to tell the exploiter what it is that he and almost all guys, that do the explaining sex trafficking is doing to that young woman or child, you do. And then it obviously you need to hold over the cat with prison if they don't. And it's so if we're honest on the part of a potential exploiter needs to be done. So as we move into these years that wasn't the idea of entitlement, you know, we don't even if y'all can lead to a sense of entitlement and responsibilities, you know that you just like violence tops, you know that the end of my hand I hit somebody well this kind of exploitation needs to be Zero Tolerance that we all think of it that way that is just absolutely unacceptable.
40:09 Allow it to be better training within our business has the big businesses. You know, I'm really disappointed in US, corporations Aid and abet. The Chinese dictatorship. I had at the hearings on Google Microsoft, Yahoo in Cisco in 2005-2006 when they were censoring the internet aiding and abetting, the time of this police to go find people who were born, human rights and democracy religious freedom. And in the knock on their door. Yeah, they are telling him who it is. It's doing to stop that. They still do it. And then Google has, this is what shampoo itself and the others. I remember going into an internet cafe in Beijing. This is all interrelated with, with trafficking and type in my name tape, then, you know, other things, the Dalai Lama, it was all blocked.
41:03 Because they were censoring it and and and how dare they do that. You know, what you see what's happening with the Wingers in the worst forced labor issue. We have ever seen with concentration camps making goods and end up in an hour. And I I tried my very best and still am you don't have any hearing next week. I know this is dated on the genocide Olympics. I'm sharing it as the chair of the commission. We have corporations tripping over each other to get it and the sell their product from Nike, the coke conditionality to write what happens in those factories in Winston,, This government is doing they get rich and their military become stronger, and a bubble. All terms of the people in China.
42:03 The secret police people's, so-called cadres and they're everywhere. Exploiting individuals. It does not need enabling. I'm back in 1994 May 26th was Bill Clinton's alleged human rights and trade. That's when we lost China. Late Friday. New cycle is all over and now they're one of the worst traffickers ever have sex and labor traffic. Either two or three country. And because of all of their different issues with the lack of females, women and China because of a forced abortion and sex selection of portion million girls, that's gender sign. Because the government has policies that were so egregious that that having a girl child was deemed unacceptable and, and those girls are missing.
43:03 And that has exacerbated the traffic issue in a very huge way. A lot of countries in proximity to China. Those women are brought in against their will. So it's it's human rights. And democracy is the only answer I was at perfect. We make mistakes, but at least there's accountability this checks and balances in. So, 30 years from now. I'm hoping for a free world. But right now the trend line is not good with China, Russia, Iran, other dictatorships, flourishing, and they have been aided and abetted by too many people in the corporate world and they're okay with that. And it's their supply, chains are tainted there. They look the other way.
44:01 And that is why that, that California was so important and why we would love to have it past here, and I'm a co-sponsor. The prime sponsor of that congresswoman from from the New York has introduced, a bill on Supply chains, and and we just, you know, we have been unable to get that one pass because of corporate.
44:27 I gave you.
44:33 Do we run out of time?
44:40 Get Ikea.
44:42 Well, since me, thank you so much for your time today for your Reflections on the obstacles, early on and the importance of persistence, the importance of speaking truth, to power, the importance of shedding light on to some of the darkest issues that we face like in our humanity. And, and some warnings ahead of issues that we need to be very present within conscious of and grapple with. I'm so that 30 years on, or into the future. We truly are living in. A free are world with more people, experiencing all the benefits of freedom, and liberty. Is there. Anything else you would like to share as we closes timeout?
45:36 The flip side of the corporate complicity has been. The good work has been done by many of the hotels where they have trained their personnel to be aware of situational awareness Legos with the Airlines and many others of the truckers have done great work. So the other there are some very bright spots out there that just need to be expanded and Amplified. Thanks for their good work again. If we all have those eyes and ears focused on something that doesn't look right just like with terrorism you do it with traffic and we're more likely to mitigate the occurrence.
46:18 Thank you very much. Appreciate it. Thank you.