06/20/2014 06:55 pm ET Updated Jun 22, 2014

John Kerry: Human Trafficking Is The Greatest 'Assault On Basic Freedom'

Secretary of State John Kerry released on Friday the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, which measures and grades on a tier system the efforts governments are making around the world to crack down on human trafficking.

At the press conference to release the report, Kerry was direct about his hope to tackle the issue of trafficking, which affects more than 20 million people worldwide.

"All of us in this room are really all too aware that there’s perhaps no greater threat to human dignity and no greater assault on basic freedom than the evil of human trafficking," he said.

Fiona David, the executive director of global research at the Walk Free Foundation, spoke with HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski to explain what exactly this report means and how the grading system works.

"This really is a modern day human rights abuse," David said. "What the United States government does is it looks at how governments around the world are responding to this appalling crime. And what they do is they rate governments on the strength of their responses."

She explained that governments like Thailand and Malaysia, which have been rated as "tier 3," are subject to sanctions by the U.S. government.

Watch the video above for more information on the new report.



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