About the Author: Ambassador Luis CdeBaca leads the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State.
Every day, vulnerable populations are exploited in every country in the world, including the United States and one of the most endangered groups of people is children. From the young girl being turned out in a truck stop or a brothel; to the boy on the streets caught up in a begging or prostitution ring; to the kids working in the fields; to the child domestic servant who never gets to leave the house and lives in the fear of the knock on the door at night -- children in the United States and around the world are vulnerable to exploitation and suffer greatly from the heinous crime of human trafficking.
On Monday, August 23, I was fortunate to meet with some of the very professionals, including victim service providers and district attorneys, who work each and every day to keep kids in America safe from all forms of exploitation. Check out the speech here. This was an important day to reflect on activities to protect the most vulnerable as August 23 is the United Nations' International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Click here to read Ambassador Susan Rice's statement.
As we look to "lead by example" in the fight against modern slavery on the global stage, the United States is also working very hard here at home to protect victims, prevent the crime in the first place, and prosecute the traffickers who dare to hold others in bondage. Just in the last week, the State of Illinois implemented a stronger law to prosecute pimps and give children a safe haven, while law enforcement spearheaded a wide swath of arrests in Oregon, Chicago, and Houston.
Through its "whole of government" approach, the Obama Administration is committed to combating all forms of modern slavery. We are working to develop and support promising practices that can hasten the journey from victim to survivor. Experience has shown that when there is support, there is success.