Back in March, I participated in a conference call with Generation Freedom and representatives from Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Generation Freedom is a coalition of anti-trafficking experts aimed at eliminating human trafficking and slavery during the next President’s term.
According to the United Nations report on Human Trafficking, 79 percent is sexual and 18 percent is labor. And in the United States, human trafficking violations have been discovered in every state. This is not a problem that can be ignored by the United States as if it only happened in the rest of the world. It is happening in our own backyard. Bradley Miles, CEO of Polaris, a leader in fighting human trafficking said, “Human trafficking is rampant across the United States and the next President must take bold leadership to eradicate this crime… It is exciting to be part of a broad-based initiative that encourages Presidential leadership and advocates for greater resources to address these gaps in the years to come.”
Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide, had this hard hitting message about Human Trafficking, “Human trafficking is one of the most rampant and yet under addressed human rights issues in our time. Today, there are more than 20 million victims of human trafficking around the world. That means that there are people trapped in slavery today at an all-time high in human history. Trafficking victims are men and women, they’re adults and children, they’re U.S. citizens and they’re foreign nationals. Human trafficking has become one of the fastest criminal enterprises, the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the world. It’s estimated that traffickers make about $150 billion every year of human misery. And it’s not just an overseas problem, there have been reported cases in every state in the United States…”
Generation Freedom put the Presidential candidates on the spot and pushed elimination of human trafficking into their political agendas. Both candidates, Clinton and Trump, have agreed to make this a priority.
Sam Clovis, Co-Chair of Donald Trump for President, stated, “I just want to talk about the fact that one of the things that’s most important about human trafficking is the fact we have to be able to enforce the laws that we have in this land and also to secure our borders and to control the trafficking that comes across our borders, into our ports, into our airports, and along with that, the drugs that come with them. This is one of the most strongest connections that we see, is between drugs and trafficking.”
Jennifer Klein, a Senior Advisor on Women’s and Girl’s Issues, Hillary for America, said this: “Modern slavery is one of the great evils of our world. It consigns millions of people to brutal violence and exploitation and it sustains criminal networks that threaten lives and communities worldwide. Ending modern slavery is one of the great global challenges of our time and America must lead.”
I recently visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati and was horrified by the stories depicted of modern slavery. It is hard to conceive that human slavery and trafficking goes on in the Land of the Free. Let’s live our National Anthem and be the Home of the Brave. Let’s stand up for those that are victimized and hold our country and other countries accountable for stopping human trafficking. Candidates for President, lead the way.
To help be the generation that ends human trafficking, sign this petition requesting the next president invest $3 billion in anti-trafficking efforts.
*The photos in this post were taken at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center