Several days ago, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
What exactly is human trafficking and where does it happen? The broad category covers several human rights violations, including forced economic exploitation and forced commercial sexual exploitation, and it happens on a global scale, according to Esha Pandit at Feminsting.com. Obama elaborates on the subject in his Presidential Proclamation:
Human trafficking endangers the lives of millions of people around the world, and it is a crime that knows no borders. Trafficking networks operate both domestically and transnationally, and although abuses disproportionally affect women and girls, the victims of this ongoing global tragedy are men, women, and children of all ages. Around the world, we are monitoring the progress of governments in combating trafficking while supporting programs aimed at its eradication. From forced labor and debt bondage to forced commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude, human trafficking leaves no country untouched. With this knowledge, we rededicate ourselves to forging robust international partnerships that strengthen global anti-trafficking efforts, and to confronting traffickers here at home.
You can learn more about efforts in the United States to end human trafficking by visiting the Polaris Project, an organization in the U.S. that works with survivors and advocates for stronger federal and state laws against human trafficking. Also, take a moment to visit our website, which currently features five inspiring human rights activists.