February 24, 2017
Washington, DC – As divisive as politics is today, it is refreshing to lead a movement virtually everyone can agree about. Democrats and Republicans, alike, believe that human slavery is wrong and it must be stopped.
Under the previous administration, President Obama set aside January as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and supported anti-trafficking efforts. Now President Trump is continuing that leadership. He declared, “Solving the human trafficking epidemic is a priority for my administration.”
On Thursday, the President met with senior advisors and leaders of anti-trafficking organizations for a briefing on the issue. The meeting was also attended by long-time anti-trafficking advocates, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Bob Corker (R-TN). Following the briefing, the President made a statement pledging his support.
Trump vowed to bring “the full force and weight of the government at the federal level … in order to solve this problem.” He went on to say, “It’s a dire problem both domestically and internationally and it’s one that’s made possible to a large extent … by what is taking place on the internet.”
This is why cases like the recent lawsuit against Backpage.com are so important. It needs to be much more difficult for people to be sold. We can stop the flow of victimization by holding accountable those who facilitate human trafficking.
The President even expressed the reality that many people remain ignorant about human trafficking. He said, “It’s a very terrible problem that’s not talked about enough…. We’re going to bring it out in the open and prevent some of the horrific things that are taking place.”
Mass education is critical to the prevention of human trafficking. Children cannot stay safe from a danger they do not know exists. Awareness alone will not stop slavery, but it will not stop without it.
We are grateful that President Trump plans to devote time and energy to ending modern-day human slavery. The issue is a priority for his daughter, Ivanka, who is said to have initiated the meeting.
We hope that these words carry action and funding for the many governmental and non-governmental organizations fighting slavery worldwide. It will take worldwide collaboration and unity to stop this scourge. Together we can end modern-day human slavery.
Take a stand and sign the petition showing your support for the End Modern Slavery Initiative. Sign here!
(photo courtesy ABC News)
by Blair Pippin
Creative & Prevention Director • Florida Abolitionist