Clinton Reaffirms US Commitment to Fighting Human Trafficking

A group of protesters stands outside the South African Parliament on September 21, 2011 in Cape Town, demonstrating against human trafficking.
A group of protesters stands outside the South African Parliament on September 21, 2011 in Cape Town, demonstrating against human trafficking.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the U.S. government is recommitting itself to ending modern slavery.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the president's anti-human trafficking task force, Clinton noted that September marks the 150th anniversary of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The order, issued during the U.S. Civil War, freed thousands of black people held as slaves in the rebel southern states. Clinton said its anniversary is a good time for the country to recommit to what she described as "the promise of freedom."

"Around the world, as many as 27 million men, women and children toil in bondage," she said. "This crime undermines economies and the rule of law. It shatters families and communities. It is an affront to our most fundamental values."

Clinton said the Obama administration has made progress in fighting human trafficking, highlighting several efforts, including the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security and foreign assistance grants supporting programs in 37 countries.

"And thanks to our leadership, the international community is getting behind the effort," she said. "Nearly 140 countries have now enacted modern anti-trafficking laws, and nearly 150 are party to the U.N. trafficking in persons protocol."

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and United States Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah were among the other officials taking part in Thursday's meeting at the White House.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 authorized the establishment of the trafficking in persons task force, called the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, a cabinet-level group that coordinates federal efforts to combat human trafficking. The secretary of state chairs the panel.

In addition, the State Department issues an annual trafficking in persons report, which assesses how governments are doing to address the problem.

Last year's report for the second year in a row also evaluated human trafficking in the United States. Clinton, who called for the inclusion of the U.S. in the report, said Thursday that she thought it was important that if U.S. officials are going to be judging other countries, that they judge themselves as well.

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Comment Sorting
by: Patrick Yay
March 21, 2012 9:27 PM
Human Traficking is the act of Capitalists worst than the old slavery. The eastern European countries like Poland and Czech Republic are cruely traficking your girls to Britain for prostituion. Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong some Asian countries are doing the same.

by: Godwin
March 16, 2012 10:22 AM
Slavery or human trafficking is as old as known history, and is not about to end despite efforts at stopping it. The world lacks proper education, and wealth is poorly or lopsidedly distributed. Remove these two obstacles and the world will be free from this inhuman business. But the worst of human trafficking is the diversion of humans from their Creator to things created. The guilty party here is the West! This breeds inequality and slavery, prostitution and disease

by: Norma Jean Almodovar
March 15, 2012 2:41 PM
While everyone talks about human trafficking in the US, there were over 80,000 reported rapes in 2010, and about 20% of the rapists were caught. The US Government also reports that there are about 12 MILLION incidents of intimate partner violence every year- 1 MILLION intimate partner rapes... what is Hilary doing about that?

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