Modern Slavery – A Menace To Society
Saying that slavery is far from abolished, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power said slavery still pervades modern societies.
In her statement on International Day for the Abolition of Slavery in Washington DC, Ms. Power said modern slavery
is young girls in America being forced to have sex with adults.
“It’s women in Europe lured by the promise of a new life but subjugated to hazardous labor without pay.” – Ms. Power
She notes millions of men and women, boys and girls, are being raped, trafficked, and exploited all over the world.
21 Million People Enslaved
According to Ms. Power, there are 21 million people enslaved, disenfranchised without crime, and shackled across the world, more slaves than ever before in human history.
She added that every 30 seconds, another person becomes a victim.
“Every 30 seconds, a life is damaged.” – Ms. Power
Halting modern day slavery is a human rights and foreign policy priority for the United States.
Ms. Power highlighted that combating modern slavery is a foreign policy priority.
She reiterated President Obama’s statement that said: “We see you. We hear you. We insist on your dignity. And we share the belief that if just given the chance, you will forge a life equal to your talents and worthy of your dreams.”
Committed to comabat the menace of modern slavery, the White House welcomed over 100 civil society leaders, including slavery survivors, to seek ways to educate the public, expand services for survivors, and support victims.
She also noted that the Obama Administration also recently established the Partnership for Freedom, a public-private partnership effort to help communities support survivors of slavery.
Ms. Power underlined that as the world marks International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the international community must this day to rededicate to ending its evil once and for all.
US Efforts To Halt Slavery Globally
The United States recognizes that human trafficking shatters families and communities.
Reports say around the world, as many as 27 million men, women, and children toil in bondage.
The White House recently issued a National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security to ensure that women are full partners and participants in our efforts to reduce conflict and promote peace and prosperity around the world, because after all, modern slavery disproportionately affects women and girls.
The Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security contains specific steps to prevent human trafficking of women and children as a result of conflict and to provide assistance to victims.
The State Department has made the struggle against modern slavery an important part of diplomatic engagement.
The US annual Trafficking in Persons Report is the most comprehensive assessment of how well governments are doing to address this crime.
The TIP Office’s foreign assistance grants are making a difference in 37 countries, supporting programs that provide crucial assistance to survivors and help governments build their capacity to fight this crime.
The US leadership has pooled the international community to get behind the effort as well.
Nearly 140 countries have enacted modern anti-trafficking laws, and nearly 150 are party to the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol, Ms. Clinton noted.
The United States is trying to ensure that resources and support are available to victims, and one of those resources is the Department of Health and Human Services National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
The US now have online tools like the Slavery Footprint so that people can understand the ways in which this crime affects them.
In addition, the United States is confident that the Administration working together, with civil society, with not-for-profits, with the private sector, the world can actually tackle this issue head on and conquer it.
In 2011, the United States has a record number of people with human trafficking offenses, and over the last three years the US government has achieved significant increases in human trafficking prosecutions, including the rise of more than 30 percent in the number of forced labor and adult sex trafficking prosecutions.
The US government has secured long prison sentences against individual traffickers. It has also dismantled really large transnational organized crime enterprises.
The Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team, or ACT Team, initiative that’s an interagency collaboration among the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Labor, was implemented to streamline federal criminal investigations and prosecute human trafficking offenses.
The United States has also launched six Phase One Pilot ACT Teams around the country. And they are located in Atlanta, El Paso, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Miami, and today these teams are fully operational.
The United States has restored freedom to undocumented Eastern European women and convicted the traffickers who brutally exploited them in massage parlors in Chicago and even branded them with tattoos to claim them as their own property.
For the entire anti-trafficking community, the US is continuing to provide training and technical assistance as well.
In 2011, efforts have included hosting three regional training forums that have focused on improving collaboration as well as the development of a training curriculum to help state prosecutors and state judges better understand human trafficking crimes.
The United States is working with Mexican law enforcement partners, the collaboration has dismantled sex trafficking networks that operate on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border and have brought freedom to victims and secured really landmark convictions and substantial sentences against the traffickers in these high-impact bilateral cases.
The United States has underlined that combating human trafficking is an affront to its most fundamental values.
Anywhere from 12 to 27 million people are currently held in forced labor, bonded labor, or forced prostitution. That’s equivalent to all the people who live in London at the low end and the combined populations of New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. at the high end.
The victims range from the men and women enslaved in fields, factories, and brothels to the girls and boys whose childhoods have been shattered and stolen, to the parents whose children have vanished.