President Donald Trump has vowed to commit to eradicating modern-day slavery and human trafficking in 2018 – freeing 25 million individuals worldwide.
In a White House statement, Trump has declared the first month of the new year to be “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month,” and has vowed that his administration would “eradicate the evil of enslavement.”
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Conservativetribune.com reports: “Human trafficking is a modern form of the oldest and most barbaric type of exploitation,” the Friday release read.
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“It has no place in our world. This month, we do not simply reflect on this appalling reality. We also pledge to do all in our power to end the horrific practice of human trafficking that plagues innocent victims around the world.”
The White House said about 25 million people are currently being enslaved worldwide “for both sex and labor,” which the proclamation said was “a sickening crime at odds with our very humanity.”
“Human traffickers prey on their victims by promising a life of hope and greater opportunity, while delivering only enslavement,” the release read.
“Instead of delivering people to better lives, traffickers unjustifiably profit from the labor and toil of their victims, who they force — through violence and intimidation — to work in brothels and factories, on farms and fishing vessels, in private homes, and in countless industries.”
In the proclamation, Trump listed the measures his administration had already taken in its first year to eliminate human trafficking.
“In February, I signed an Executive Order to dismantle transnational criminal organizations, including those that perpetuate the crime of human trafficking,” the release read.
“My Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons has enhanced collaboration with other nations, businesses, civil society organizations, and survivors of human trafficking. The Department of Health and Human Services has established a new national training and technical assistance center to strengthen our health care industry’s anti-trafficking response.
“The Department of State has contributed $25 million to the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, because of the critical need for cross-nation collaborative action to counter human trafficking,” the release continued. “The Department of Labor has released an innovative, business-focused mobile app that supports private-sector efforts to eradicate forced labor from global supply chains.
“And this month, I will sign into law S. 1536, the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act and S. 1532, the No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act,” the president’s statement added.
“These bills will keep those who commit trafficking offenses from operating commercial vehicles, improve anti-human trafficking coordination within Federal agencies and across State and local governments, and improve efforts to recognize, prevent, and report human trafficking.”
While this isn’t the first National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month — then-President Barack Obama made a similar declaration about January 2017 — it is the first to take place fully under the Trump administration, which has made fighting transnational criminal organizations a major emphasis of its law enforcement strategy.
In September, Ivanka Trump made a speech to the United Nations General Assembly pledging that the president was bringing “the full force and weight of our government” to bear against human trafficking.
This January, that means that National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is more than just a missive from the White House — and the proof is in the administration’s accomplishments over the past year.