President Obama Recognizes National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month -- a month in which we rededicate ourselves to assisting victims of human trafficking and to combating it in all its forms.

In recognition of this important issue, President Barack Obama released a proclamation shining a light on both the consequences and root causes of human trafficking. He also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to continue fighting for human rights around the world.

President Obama stated, “...in too many places around the world -- including right here in the United States -- the injustice of modern slavery and human trafficking still tears at our social fabric. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we resolve to shine a light on every dark corner where human trafficking still threatens the basic rights and freedoms of others.”

President Obama encouraged all Americans to consider the vital roles each of us can play in ending all forms of human trafficking. He said, “Every action we take at home, from the clothing we wear to the food we eat, is connected to what happens around the world. As a Nation, we have worked to address the problem of forced labor in our supply chains, and as individuals, we must strive to be conscientious consumers.”

He also addressed the ways in which we are working with our friends and allies, we have made this issue an international priority. He noted, “Just this year we used multilateral fora, including the North American Leaders Summit, the East Asia Summit, and the United Nations, to raise awareness and work with partners around the globe. In addition to urging other countries to develop and expand their anti-trafficking laws and services for victims, we are also stepping up our foreign assistance in this area. Working alongside the international community, we have seen significant increases in trafficking prosecutions and convictions, and we have made great strides in supporting victims.”

President Obama closed his proclamation by reaffirming the importance of our global leadership role in the fight to end the exploitation of human beings for profit. “This month, let us find inspiration in America's progress toward justice, opportunity, and prosperity for all and reaffirm our pledge to continue fighting for human rights around the world,” he concluded.

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