News / USA

    US Steps Up Fight to End Modern Slavery

    FILE - Community members gather during a candlelit vigil in support of legislation for child victims of human trafficking, Dec. 11, 2014, in Atlanta.
    FILE - Community members gather during a candlelit vigil in support of legislation for child victims of human trafficking, Dec. 11, 2014, in Atlanta.

    President Barack Obama has proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. On Tuesday, top U.S. officials renewed pledges to combat human trafficking through interagency efforts and public-private partnerships.

    Calling human trafficking a "multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise," Secretary of State John Kerry pointed out that fighting this problem is both a moral obligation and a national security issue.

    "I believe this is a fight that we can win but, most importantly, this is a fight we have to win,” Kerry said in a cabinet-level meeting at the White House. “You can't have 20 million people in modern times literally enslaved and waiting for the moment when a government, a responsible entity, might step up and help protect them as we should."

    Kerry added that more than 20 million people are enslaved every year, but only 1 percent are identified.

    FILE - In 2011, more than 650 cases involving human trafficking were opened, and 300 arrests were made.
    FILE - In 2011, more than 650 cases involving human trafficking were opened, and 300 arrests were made.

    The White House listed priorities to monitor and combat human trafficking, including strengthening the rule of law, funding victim services, preventing trafficking in federal contracts and private sector supply chains, and increasing public awareness.

    One of the initiatives is a new in-person registration program to enhance protections for domestic workers employed by foreign personnel at foreign missions in Washington. The State Department plans to expand that registration program to workers employed by personnel at international organizations throughout the U.S.

    Trafficking report

    In July of 2015, the State Department's Trafficking in Persons report listed Mexico as a source and destination country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.

    U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have been working with Mexican law enforcement counterparts to enhance the investigation and prosecution of trafficking networks operating across the border.

    Cover of US State Department's 2015 report on Human Trafficking, released on July 27, 2015.Cover of US State Department's 2015 report on Human Trafficking, released on July 27, 2015.
    x
    Cover of US State Department's 2015 report on Human Trafficking, released on July 27, 2015.
    Cover of US State Department's 2015 report on Human Trafficking, released on July 27, 2015.

    "Since 2009, this bilateral effort has led to U.S. federal prosecutions of over 170 defendants, prosecutions in Mexico of over 40 traffickers associated with these networks, and the extradition of eight defendants from Mexico to the U.S.,” Lynch said. “Most importantly, this effort has led to the rescue of over 200 victims and, even more importantly, the recovery of over 20 victims' children from the trafficking networks controlled."

    The State Department has been required by law to release an annual Trafficking in Persons report since 2001. While it lays out clear minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, some experts have criticized it, saying it fails to provide a consistent method for evaluating compliance.

    For example, Cuba, a country that has been under fire for years of non-compliance, was upgraded in the 2015 annual report. Some human rights activists speculated that Cuba's upgrade was based on U.S. political motives.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora