About the Author: Ambassador Luis CdeBaca is a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State and serves as the director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, which assesses global trends, provides training and technical assistance, and advocates for an end to modern slavery.
Today, Secretary Clinton chaired the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the Department of State. Although there have been yearly meetings of this entity that includes other members of the Cabinet, this is the first gathering under the Obama Administration.
She was joined by the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Labor, the Director of National Intelligence, and the USAID Administrator. Representatives from the White House, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also participated in the discussion.
Secretary Clinton, who has been engaged on this human security issue since the 1990s, has played a key role in bringing human trafficking to the forefront of United States policy. As First Lady, she was instrumental in the development of the three "P" approach -- prevention, protection, and prosecution -- to combat this scourge. In the Senate, she fought to get resources for the fight against modern slavery. As Secretary of State, she is paving a new path of engagement on this issue to ensure that every person realizes the Constitution's promise of freedom.
To put this issue into broader context, human trafficking has cross-cutting implications throughout U.S. Government policy. In order to ensure the Obama Administration's response and vision is realized, there is a great need for interagency cooperation. For example, the Department of Justice investigates, arrests, and prosecutes traffickers, working with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to dismantle trafficking rings. The Department of Health and Human Services provides much-needed victim services. The United States Department of Agriculture and Department of Labor work to achieve slavery-free supply chains. This is an interactive web of ongoing work and today's meeting was an important way to coordinate the collective United States Government's effort against trafficking.
Combating trafficking has not only policy implications, but most importantly, real life ones. As the President said in Tokyo, a young girl should be respected not for her body, but for her ideas. And, men, women, and children alike should be respected for their ideas and contributions to society that freely allows them to pursue their hopes and dreams. The United States commits to building on global partnerships and to working across borders and barriers to confront the traffickers. Strengthening our partnerships within the United States and throughout the world is integral to making progress against modern slavery and today's discussion signified another step forward in our efforts to eradicate it once and for all.