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January Proclaimed Human Trafficking Month

January 12th, 2010

President Obama has proclaimed January 2010 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1.

The US State Department estimates that 14,500-17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year in a modern-day version of slavery. These numbers do not show the estimated 100,000 minors that are trafficked within U.S. borders into prostitution, nor do they show the individuals that never receive services or law enforcement intervention.

The President said: “The victims of modern slavery have many faces. They are men and women, adults and children. Yet, all are denied basic human dignity and freedom. Victims can be abused in their own countries, or find themselves far from home and vulnerable. Whether they are trapped in forced sexual or labor exploitation, human trafficking victims cannot walk away, but are held in service through force, threats, and fear. All too often suffering from horrible physical and sexual abuse, it is hard for them to imagine that there might be a place of refuge.”

President Obama called on all Americans to become more aware of the problem and act to stem the numbers of people enslaved.

“We must join together as a Nation and global community to provide that safe haven by protecting victims and prosecuting traffickers. With improved victim identification, medical and social services, training for first responders, and increased public awareness, the men, women, and children who have suffered this scourge can overcome the bonds of modern slavery, receive protection and justice, and successfully reclaim their rightful independence.”

“Fighting modern slavery and human trafficking is a shared responsibility. This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, we can and must end this most serious, ongoing criminal civil rights violation.”

Read the Proclamation

Resources:

US State Department 2009 Human Trafficking Report

Read The Stop Trafficking newsletter, a forum for exchange among religious congregations and their collaborating organizations

  • to promote awareness re: human trafficking;
  • to exchange best practice s in advocacy for and empowerment of survivors of human trafficking;
  • to recommend actions to counter human trafficking.

Current Issues:

HumanTrafficking.org -a web resource for combating human trafficking

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