Bush Leads Fight Against International Slave Trade
President Bush spoke to the National Training Conference on Human Trafficking in Tampa on Friday (July 16) denouncing the international 21st century slave trade. Bush declined an invitation to speak at the NAACP convention, instead using his bully pulpit to rally agents of compassion in the battle to fight an enemy that preys largely on minorities, particularly women and children.
In his remarks, the president said, "This trade in human beings brings suffering to the innocent and shame to our country, and we will lead the fight against it."
The issue of human trafficking is a key element of Bush's compassion agenda, along with his leadership in committing $15 billion to the global fight against AIDS, supporting domestic faith-based initiatives, and focused economic development in Africa. At the United Nations last year, the president pledged $50 million to support specific anti-trafficking efforts in 2004. Since taking office, the Bush administration has provided more than $295 million to support anti-trafficking programs in more than 120 countries…
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Editor's note: The President continues to advance the fight against trafficking in persons, which is a modern-day form of slavery. Human trafficking is a serious problem in the United States and throughout the world. Each year, an estimated 600,000-800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked against their will across international borders 14,500-17,500 of whom are trafficked into the United States. Victims of trafficking are recruited, transported, or sold into all forms of forced labor and servitude, including prostitution, sweatshops, domestic labor, farming, and child armies. Approximately 80 percent of trafficking victims are female, and 70 percent of those female victims are trafficked for the commercial sex industry. The President has taken strong action to combat trafficking at home and abroad. He supported and signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003 and the PROTECT Act, both of which strengthen the tools law enforcement authorities use to combat trafficking crimes and ensure that victims of trafficking are rescued and supported. Since 2001, the Bush Administration has provided more than $295 million to support anti-trafficking programs in more than 120 countries.
By all accounts, President Bush gave a terrific speech on the subject of trafficking. Abolitionists note with great satisfaction that the president calls attention not only to the plight of victims of trafficking, but also to those who peddle in humanity, as well as to those "unscrupulous adults" [men] who prey [i.e. buy] on them.
Please phone the comment line (202.456.1111) or send your email message (firstname.lastname@example.org) to thank the president for his leadership and for speaking out on this vitally important subject.